When it’s time to take an important test, like the TOEFL, LSAT, or college chemistry exam, it can feel overwhelming to prepare. Even if you spend a lot of time studying, not knowing what to expect on test day or worrying that you do not know the material well enough can cause worry about how well you will perform on the test. Fortunately, you can use practice tests to improve your test score.
Prepare for Your Test
Before taking any test, it is important to take time for preparation. Once you know what material is going to be covered in the test, use that information to study and prepare. Studying the material can include going over your notes, reading textbook chapters, or having a friend quiz you on the material. The more time you study and prepare for the test, the more comfortable you will be with it. Studying will give you the foundation of knowledge, and the practice tests will help you see areas where extra study is needed.
Take Practice Tests
Practice tests are designed to show you what to expect from the real thing. They have the same kinds of questions on them and cover the same material. It is recommended that you take practice tests early and often. Just like with studying, the more you take practice tests, the more comfortable you will be with the material and what to expect from the real test. When you take a practice test, try to create an environment that is similar to what you will experience. For example, you do not want to take a practice test in the middle of a birthday party.
Learn from Your Mistakes
The key part of using practice tests to improve your test score is to learn from the mistakes you make on the practice test. After you take the practice test, go through the answers. Make a note of any incorrect answers and study that material more before taking your next practice test. If you take the time to study between practice tests, you should see your practice test score improve over time.
Use What You’ve Learned
Practice tests are an opportunity to learn the material better and get used to what the test experience will be like. By treating practice tests as part of the study process, you are more likely to remember the material as you study it. That means your scores are also more likely to improve when you take the real test after taking practice tests.
Preparing for an important test does not have to be limited to studying your notes and reading textbook chapters. By having the right approach in using practice tests, you can get extra time studying and prepare yourself for what to expect on test day. That way, you will be more comfortable with the material and know what format the test will be. If you want to improve your test score, a key element is using your practice tests as a part of your study process.