Practice tests can be a valuable tool when studying for an exam. They familiarize you with the look and feel of an actual exam, which helps to reduce anxiety. They also allow you to see what you know and what areas you need to work on.
Standardized test anxiety is common, and can undo months of hard work. This article will give you 5 reasons to take practice tests to minimize testing anxiety.
1. They Give You an Idea of What to Expect
When students take a practice test prep, they have an idea of what the actual exam will be like. This helps dissipate anxiety over what the test will be like and allows them to focus on learning material.
In addition, by simulating the environment and time constraints of the exam, it can help them prepare for what will actually happen on test day. They can do things such as wake up at the same time as they would for the actual test, wear earplugs or headphones to simulate background noise and take the test somewhere different than where they usually study.
Additionally, by analyzing their results and understanding which areas they need to focus on more than others, it can help them create a more effective study plan. This can include additional review sessions or more intense studying in certain areas to improve their performance.
2. They Give You a Chance to Find Out Your Weaknesses
If you take a practice test and answer all the questions without consulting your notes or textbook, you’ll get an idea of what to expect on the actual exam day. Try to recreate as many aspects of the exam experience as possible, like waking up at the same time you would for the real thing and taking it in the same location with the same background noises (libraries are great).
If you know which subjects or questions you miss consistently, you can use your practice test results to create a study plan that will address these areas. Some practice tests will even give you a question-by-question breakdown to show your strengths and weaknesses, so you can tailor your studying.
3. They Give You a Chance to Test Your Endurance
It’s a good idea to take full length practice tests at least twice during your study period. This will give you a feel for the actual exam’s difficulty, and it will allow you to test your endurance.
Studies have shown that taking a practice test improves memory and retention more than simply studying or reviewing material. This is due to a phenomenon called “the testing effect.”1
It’s also been found that students who take practice exams tend to do better on the actual exam than those who don’t. This is probably because practice tests help students become familiar with the format and structure of the test, reducing anxiety. They also teach students how to manage their time effectively, improving their overall performance on the exam.
4. They Give You a Chance to See How Well You’re Doing
Practice tests are a great way for students to see how well they are doing. They can use their results to determine what they need to work on as they continue studying for the actual exam.
Taking a practice test can help reduce anxiety by giving the student an idea of what to expect on test day. This can help them to feel more comfortable and relaxed when they take the exam, which will ultimately lead to a higher score.
When practicing for an exam, it is important to give the practice test your full attention. This means not peeking at your notes or looking up answers. This will remove some of the utility from the practice test and make it less effective. Refraining from cheating also helps to ensure that the practice test is a good representation of what the actual exam will be like.
5. They Give You a Chance to See What You Need to Work On
Many students are not aware of their knowledge gaps until they take a practice exam. By identifying areas that need more attention, you can focus your study efforts accordingly.
Some online resources allow you to create a practice test that is timed just like the real thing, and can provide feedback on your performance. You can also use the practice tests included in your textbooks or provided by your instructor or tutoring.
Remember, it’s well known that practicing over time increases your retention of information and makes it easier to recall it later. Make sure to take practice exams frequently, in the same testing environment as you would be on test day and keep track of your progress over time. It’s a great way to stay on track and feel confident on test day.