Ace in Test – by following this step by step approach to excel in all types of tests and exams
1. Learn About the Test to Ace in Test
Your first step to Ace in Test is to learn about the test itself that you are going to take. For parents of young children, they should be familiar with the type of test that their children are going to take. It is important because some tests can be computer-based whereas others could be a plain paper-based test.
Questions on computer-based tests are interactive. In such tests, you answer by selecting an option or by entering text on the screen. For most questions, you will respond by clicking with the mouse the most appropriate answer from a list of answers.
Sometimes, you might be asked to select more than one correct answer. The following are the possible types of interactive questions that can appear in a computer-based test.
- Clicking on a single checkbox
- Clicking on multiple checkboxes
- Typing in an entry box
- Selecting an image by clicking on it
- Clicking on sentences
- Selecting an answer from a drop-down menu
2. Breakdown the Syllabus to Ace in Test
The second step for you is to master the syllabus for the subject. Get to know the sections from the syllabus that are going to be assessed in the tests. It is important to know which topics are more important than others. Based on the above information gauge the coverage of the subject and breakdown into a pie chart.
3. Assess How Well You Know the Content
After you have gone through the syllabus and have analyzed the coverage of the subject its time to find your gaps. Take a pre-assessment test and see how well you do on your subject. Find out the areas where you lack knowledge; where you have knowledge but do not have the ability to work out the solution; where you only need some minor touch ups and so on. This will help you strategize your recipe for success.
4. Determine Your Strategy for Success
You will have to set clear goals and deadlines so that your preparation stays focussed. This is necessary so that you remain confident and feel ready when the day comes for the final test. Learn what the test covers.
5. Create a Study Plan to Ace in Test
Create a roadmap to prepare for the test. Make a schedule and block the number of hours per week that you would want to devote to for your preparation. Mark that in your planner or calendar. Use notes so that you are reminded every time you look at it.
It is best to have a schedule written down so you don’t forget. Allow yourself plenty of time to test and review. This will allow you to avoid cramming new materials at the end. Always set a realistic schedule and stick to it.
6. Know, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate and Synthesize
This is your main study cycle. It is here that you will spend most of your time preparing for the subject. I will devote an entire section on this in a separate post.
7. Review Study Topics
After going through your study sessions and knowing your subject matter, it is now time for review. Reviews are important to give a clear indication of the depth and breadth of the knowledge required for success on the test.
By now you will have formed a concise guide on key areas that will provide you with context to apply during the actual test. The key idea is to not overwhelm you with the entire content before the test but to follow up on a few key specific areas of interest.
These areas of interest could be determined by (a) your lack of understanding in certain sections; (b) the importance of questions from a specific section in the final test; and/or (c) time necessary to solve problems from specific sections.
8. Review Last 5 Year Questions
After you have prepared and learned the subject it is time now to be specific towards your test. Many times it is not necessary to know everything about a subject but to take a calculated approach to study and excel in a test based on what questions appeared in the past. Sometimes, this might backfire as well.
However, the best way to prepare and excel for any test is to know the length and breadth of the subject and then prepare specifically for the test. Education syllabi tend to change very slowly. Hence, hardly there will be cases where a question is asked that is beyond the syllabus.
Reviewing and taking the last few years’ questions will help you to guide along with the question structure, the type of questions, the important sections, the most time-consuming sections and other important factors that might help you to excel.
9. Take Mock Tests
Before the main test take as many mock tests as you can. Take these tests under the same constraints as that of the real test. Treat them as real tests. Once done, compare the results between multiple takes.
After every test, you should go to step 7 and review some of the course content that you felt were difficult. Follow this process and take a few more mock tests. By now you will be confident and you will know how well you are prepared for the actual test.
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