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10 Benefits of Taking Practice Exams >>
Preparation for testing and examinations can be one of the most taxing activities, but even more so when it is your career that is at stake. Most people have some test taking troubles due to fear of failure or being overly self confident. The goal is to be somewhere between these two extreme points of view, by the time you are actually taking any examination, certification or qualifications test. It is important to remember that nothing is going to work against you more than yourself. If you think you are going to do badly, you probably will. Likewise, if you think you are going to succeed, you probably will as well. While preparing for your upcoming examinations, utilize as many practice exams as you can. They have more benefits to your success than you know of… Here are some reasons why…
Getting Over Test Anxiety
This is the most general reason that people have problems taking tests. It is not because they are lacking in their intelligence or even their study skills, but due to their own nervous tension getting the best of them. The technical term for this is test anxiety. It is interesting to note that test anxiety happens to people no matter what the environment. It happens as easily in a classroom full of people as it does when you are alone taking a test, especially if you are prone to test anxiety. So taking a practice test will do two things that benefit you. It will let you know if you have test anxiety and it will relieve tension by taking the practice test, because rehearsal of the event eases the mental block creating the tension.
Give Yourself A Break From Studying
It is important to get out of your own head and take a break from the diligence of studying. There does come a point when the mind is no longer absorbing information effectively, but we do not realize it due to our need to stress and worry that we are getting behind. Without proper attention to this, a person can study for hours and retain very little of the information afterwards. Practice tests are one way to feel like you are still accomplishing something, but take a break from the routine that is part of studying hard. It is also fun to do a dynamically different mental activity after several hours of reading or memorization. This is also the best time to do a sample test as it lets you know how you are progressing.
Being Prepared For Time Limitations
All major examinations are given a standard time frame to finish each test section with breaks between sections. No matter what type of examination you are taking, you will know what the time allotted is and this gives you an advantage when practicing with sample exams. Put yourself on the same time clock as you will be expected to finish within, this prepares the body and mind for the time period. It is amazing how mentally prepared you can be, then anxiety can cause your foot to fall asleep or your hand to twitch. All this stems from nervous tension that is easily combated by training your body and mind to keep to a pace for a certain time period.
Learning Your Areas of Weakness
Practice testing is the surest way to find out what your areas of weakness are, by taking the test and seeing that you scored badly in those specific areas. When you score your practice tests, you should write down all the questions you got wrong and review those areas of your studies over again. After doing this take the practice test again, but try answering the questions from the bottom to top. Your areas of weakness may be the same or may have shifted. Only by practice testing could you have known this ahead of time.
Reviewing Topics That You Already Know
Just like your strengths can work against you in studying, it is always important to review what has already been learned. Before taking your real exams, it maybe many weeks since you covered topics from the beginning. Make sure that you go back and review everything from the beginning, along with taking practice tests. Review successfully refreshes the memory, but it also is a necessary component in the studying process. Seeing and hearing things more than once is the key to permanent memory retention of facts.
Highlighting Patterns of Mistakes
Taking different practice tests will expose you to a battery of questions, some that you know well and some that you may not. Most of us do not make a single mistake, we tend to have a patten and make numerous mistakes in certain areas. It could be that you have trouble with numbers and percentages. You may miss the mark when it comes to conditional reasoning or critical thinking methods. Whatever it is, it can be unlearned if you can see it clearly as a pattern. Taking practice tests will usually reveal this kind of information readily and the pattern will emerge for you to see.
Shows What Questions Take You Longer to Answer
It is important to remember that nothing is going to work against you more than yourself. Everyone has certain modes of thinking that cause us to stumble along with one type of question, but with another one we breeze right through it without effort. This is one of the major points in taking preparation exams, if you run into this type of problem it can drag you well past your alloted time limitations on the test. As a test taker, it is far better to know this about certain type questions ahead of time. That way you can skip such a question and come back to it when you have finished the rest of the test, plus if certain questions take you longer to answer, you may want to spend more time preparing yourself and studying these subjects more.
Develops Techniques in Answering Questions
There will be questions on your exams that ask you to think in terms of abstraction or theoretical reasoning. It will probably be a situation that is proposed with a set of variables that you must make decisions about, if this is not natural to you then it is something to consider. You will be expected to answer hypothetical questions, so when taking your practice tests, take notice how well you do on these items. See if you can develop any new techniques to answer them, even if you find they are not a problem.
Improves Test Scores
Ultimately there is one thing that practice tests and sample exams will eventually achieve, that is an improvement in your test scores. Knowing this should let your mind relax before the big day really comes. Having studied hard along with taking your education seriously should have prepared you already. Your efforts in conjunction with preparatory exams will greatly improve your scores on the real test.

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