Throughout your education career, you will encounter many tests and assessments. These tests range from a quiz to a high stakes placement examination. Very few people are gifted with the talent to earn a perfect score on tests without some sort of preparation. Test preparation comes in many forms. Some choose to just study alone with the test material while others will do better studying with a group. If you are getting ready to take a college placement or a certification exam, your test preparation strategies can mean the difference in getting into your desired college or earning a job certification. These tests include the SAT, ACT, GMAT, Praxis, TExES, GRE, NCLEX and ASVAB just to name a few. We will discuss the different ways that you can ensure a high score on your tests by using a test preparation method that works well for you.
Studying: Alone or in a Group?
When preparing for a big test, everyone tends to have their own study methods that help them succeed. Studying alone works well for people who like to organize their thoughts in a certain way or who prefer a quiet atmosphere to allow themselves to concentrate on the test material. While one person may like to create their own studying style and work by themselves, another individual might need the help of others such as a peer, a teacher or a study group.
If you are attending school already, there may be groups already established that meet to study a particular subject such as math, physics, biology, chemistry and many more. Some specialized subjects may not have a study group, but students who have the same class will often group together when they are getting ready to prepare for a big test. If you are having a tough time understanding a particular concept, you might want to schedule to meet with your teacher so they can better explain it to you before the test.
In high school, the school counselor usually helps students prepare to take the ACT and SAT by providing practice tests and study sessions. The PSAT is a preliminary SAT test that focuses on math, reading and writing skills. School counselors put great emphasis on the PSAT since a high score might earn you National Merit scholarships to help you when you attend college. Test preparation for these tests include exploring the question format, studying the question content and taking practice tests to familiarize the students with the test.
Test Preparation Books and Courses
In addition to studying alone or in a group, each of the high stakes tests offer both test preparation books and courses you can attend to increase your chances of a high score on the test. Books can be found at most book stores and online. The test preparation books available normally offer a more in depth look at the testing material and have several practice tests for you to take to get a feel for the test questions. A test preparation book is great for someone who already feels they have a good handle on the testing material and desire to study mostly on their own for the exam.
Test preparation books can be great, but some prefer to attend a test preparation course instead. For instance, Kaplan offers test preparation courses that can be taken for college placement exams, graduate school placement exams and professional certification tests. Test preparation courses are intense classes that an individual can attend either online, in person or both online and in person.
If you are great at self-discipline when it comes to studying, online courses are a great fit. Online courses are taught by experienced teachers who know how to prepare students for successful test taking. For someone who desires more one on one focus and a more in depth explanation of the test material, a test preparation course taken in person would be the best choice for them. Both types of courses offer study sessions and tips based on the material as well as several full length practice exams that help students get a true feel for what the actual test will be like. This can help with students who might have test anxiety since it will help them go through the motions of taking an actual test with the same material.
Preparing for Success
Whether you are taking a high stakes test or not, being prepared for the test is the best way you can ensure you are setting yourself up for success. Meet with a school or career counselor to discuss which type of test preparation technique works best with the way you learn and study the content. Once you find the best method for you, you will see great results when it comes time to take your tests. Preparing to pass with flying colors is the best avenue for success in your education and your future career.
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