Everyone has different strategies for exam preparation and a particular study style. Among the different study techniques that students employ, taking practice tests have shown to result in better long-term retention.
Here’s why practice tests are key to successful exam preparation:
They Allow You to Create a Strategic Preparation Schedule
The preparation period before an exam is a long and involved process, which means that it can easily get derailed and you need to use your time as efficiently as possible. A practice test before and during your exam prep can help you understand how much study material you’re left with.
Compare your practice test score with the target test score, to get a rough idea how much more you need to commit to the exam prep process. Then, make a detailed schedule of the topics you need to cover before your exam (make sure to give yourself short rest breaks—they can help you focus better and increase your overall productivity).
They give you the opportunity to learn the quirks of the exam
It’s important that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into before you take an exam. After all, strategies for one exam differ from the other. By taking practice tests repeatedly, you grow accustomed to the length of the test and the type of questions you’ll come across, in addition to strategically managing your time—a crucial factor!
What’s more, knowing the format of the exam inside out helps you become more comfortable with the process.
They help you retain information
If you’re planning to pull an all-nighter the night before the exam, you might want to think again. Studies show that marathon study sessions are associated with mental, physical and emotional impairments, as a result of which you may find yourself struggling to perform consistently.
Conversely, short, regular bursts of study sessions can actually help you retain more information. Plus, the information you learn while taking a practice test will stick with you in a unique way. Notetaking and flashcards can further help you practice recalling facts and figures before the exam.
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