How to use practice tests effectively

One of the most crucial resources that can help you to prepare for exams is practice tests and practice questions. Quite often, most of the practice questions are taken from old exams. Besides, it can help you build confidence that you need to get through a real exam. 

Prep books and flashcards can be appealing, but it’s a good idea to get through questions and take practice exams. Therefore, if your child is going to take an exam, then you need to get 11+ CSSE Essex Practice Paper 1 so that they can practice how to answer the questions. This article discusses how to use practice tests effectively.

Use practice tests regularly and early

Many students usually tend to wait for quite long to take a practice test. But it’s important to establish a baseline early on so that you can track your improvement during the process. Also, you want to determine your strengths and weaknesses to help you to tailor your studies. 

Remember that practice tests can also act as an active learning form and are highly effective just like an actual study method. Therefore, if your child utilizes practice tests properly, they can learn a lot in the process. It’s also crucial to utilize practice tests regularly. During this study period, your child needs to take a practice test at least once per week or two weeks. This helps your child to track their progress and identify weak points. Also, it can teach them elements, such as how the exam may likely look like, pacing, and they can learn content. 

Simulate testing conditions

Most students tend to have test-taking anxiety. Hence, they need to know what to expect so that they can gain confidence and help them keep calm. It’s a good idea to simulate the test day routine as well as the testing environment while taking practice tests. Some tests can start quite early in the morning, so they need to wake up at the same time they would on test day.

You should also allow your child to eat the same breakfast and wear the same type of attire. Also, if possible, let your child take their exam at another location other than where they usually study. This can help simulate the discomfort that is associated with being in a new environment, such as any unexpected sounds and annoyances. In most cases, libraries are often good because they are usually quiet, though they may still be crowded with many people studying just like a test day. This is a great technique because it assists to prepare your child for background noise, but they can also try earmuffs or earplugs as they may utilize them on the exam day. 

The practice test can also include regularly scheduled breaks. Therefore, allow your child to have these breaks so that they can become a little more comfortable with what they can do on test day. Some children like to use the restroom during this period, or even eat a quick snack. This is the time to experiment, so allow your child to do what they may feel comfortable doing. Even if they are not doing a full practice test, your child still has to give full attention to their practice questions.

Review questions

This is another crucial step, though many students usually skip it. You should allow your child to review the practice test, though it may sometimes take quite longer to review the test than it does to take it. 

It’s also important to note that your child needs to review both the correct and incorrect answers because they may get a question correct for the wrong reasons. This is a learning chance, and it can mean significant point differences on the actual test day. Likewise, your child can also get a question wrong, though they may know the content well. 

Your child can also determine where they made an error. In most cases, a child can misread the question or they may have confused some concepts. Therefore, they can use this chance to learn from their mistakes so that they may not repeat them on test day. 

Your kid also needs to understand why the answer is correct, though it’s crucial to understand why the other options are not correct. They can do this by themselves or you can help them. You have to reason through each question and ensure they understand all the concepts behind them.

Leading up to test day

There is a good chance that your child may have been sleeping and waking up frequently to prepare what they may do on test day. In such cases, then they need to continue with their routine. The nerves from an upcoming test may usually lead to insomnia for many children, so they need to have regular sleep and rake up routines before the test day.

Your child should also not study too hard just a day before the exam. At this point, extra studying can hinder them through suboptimal recovery or even increase stress. After all, they have already done their part, and they just need to trust their preparation. And, this is not the right time to try a new diet. Instead, let your child stick to their routines and take it easy. Also, make sure that your child has everything situated for the morning, such as snacks, earplugs, water, and many more. 

The child has to approach this day just like any other day when they are taking a practice test. It’s important for your child to shop up earlier than they need in case there may be some delays on the way to the exam. This also gives them a little time to get situated and utilize the bathroom.

In conclusion, practicing before taking a test can help your child to understand the pattern of the test. Also, it can help your child to pace up and develop strategies for handling the real test. Practicing for a test requires planning in a variety of situations and certain question types, such as multiple choice which need planning, especially if a student doesn’t know the answer.


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