The Benefits of Practice Tests: Improved Learning and Performance
Students ready to enter college or university should prepare better to ace their college admission tests. There are several ways to prepare, such as through practice testing or retrieval practice. Among many practice test benefits is the assurance that students have a bigger chance to enter their dream college or university.
The constant quizzing or testing for a specific time encourages students to recall materials that they were taught or they studied. Researchers found that students recall more information from quizzes rather than rereading the material. As such, it’s wise to use practice tests to prepare for upcoming exams. Here are other practice test benefits that one can reap.
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Identify Problem Areas
Identify Knowledge Gaps
Taking practice tests lets you assess what you know and do not know. This knowledge helps you focus your study efforts on areas where you are weaker, giving you a chance to improve your scores.
Learn More When Restudying After Practice Tests
Practice tests allow you to review the test results, giving feedback on which areas need more support. You can study more materials to ensure you do better on the next test.
Target Problem Areas
Students have their strong and weak points, and practice tests can help you focus more on specific content areas or test formats, such as short answers, true or false, or multiple choice.
Improve Knowledge Retention
The repetitive nature of practice tests helps students retain knowledge. A student studies, takes the test, reviews the results, and studies the same material again when needed.
Get Higher Scores in Identical Questions Compared to Those Who Restudied
Practice tests improve memory retention and learning. Students become used to taking a test, removing the feelings of stress. The learning builds in layers, which is better than simply studying or reviewing materials before an exam.
Apply Knowledge in New Contexts After Practice Tests
Students can apply their skills and knowledge in another context as they improve their comprehension. For example, an electrical engineering student studying electricity and circuitry can apply what they learn to rebuilding and dissecting.
Obtain Higher Scores When Answering a Material That Is Not Identical to Practice Tests
Practice tests help you retain knowledge, and frequent quizzes encourage you to study and learn more, making it easy to retrieve information that may not be the same as those from the practice tests.
Track Test-Taking Time
Practice testing can simulate the environment of an actual test, whether it is timed, online, or onsite. They allow you to use similar resources as the real test, such as open-internet, open-book, or closed-book.
Taking timed practice tests teaches you pacing because you get to know how much time to spend on a question and how much time is left. You learn to set a target score, when to skip the most difficult questions, and answer the easier ones.
Boost Exam Confidence
Boost Confidence and Manage Test Anxiety
You can use practice tests to get used to taking a test, master the content, and track your improvement. They match official test formats, and you learn the skill of taking tests as you learn your strengths and weaknesses. By taking practice tests regularly, you become more confident. You can manage your test anxiety through time management and approaching each question appropriately.
Practice tests also curb students’ overconfidence by providing them with more chances to practice, giving them timely feedback, and allowing them to see where they struggle.
Use Practice Tests Effectively
1. Know More About the Exam Beforehand
For example, if taking the SAT, you should understand its sections and its content coverage, which can help you pace and prepare yourself.
2. Choose an Appropriate Practice Test
To ensure better performance, choose the official practice test closest to the one you are taking on exam day. Practice with different test levels to help you sharpen and develop your strategies for test-taking.
3. Monitor Your Practice Tests
Keeping a record of your practice test scores will help you track your progress. This will show you your improvement or lack thereof.
4. Record Your Mistakes
Keep a detailed record of your mistakes in different exams to see what went wrong. It will help you categorize the exam question into smaller chunks, so you can avoid making the same mistakes.
5. Reassess Unknown Content
After recording your mistakes, review related content. Retake the test when you are ready. It can help you remember what answers to give for similar questions later.
Enjoy Practice Test Benefits
If you are preparing for exams, such as for college admissions, taking practice tests will help you boost your learning and retain knowledge. Moreover, it will keep you focused and improve on your problem areas. Practice tests will make you accustomed to the test environment, removing your anxiety and stress.
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.