Test Prep Information

Introduction to Test Preparation

There are many different types of qualifications that can be earned through distance learning, such as Associate, Bachelor and Masters Degrees or vocational training. Although some degrees such as medicine require attendance at formal classes, there is a wide range of subjects for which qualifications can be gained via online education.

Test Preparation FAQs

What is test preparation?

Regardless of your educational level, test preparation is very important. Test preparation refers to the process of preparing yourself to take a test. People have different ways of preparing for tests, but it is important that you structure your study sessions properly and ensure that you are well prepared when you actually take the test. Standardized admission tests are used widely as a way of deciding which students to admit to a school, college or university, and which to reject.

What are the types of test preparation?

As many of the tests are standardized, there are customary ways of preparing for them, which involve content review and proven methods and strategies with which to approach questions, time management skills and practice. Revision is an important part of test preparation.

First, you need to review your course and note the topics that were covered. There is no point in revising something that was not in the syllabus. Having done that, you should look for past test papers to find the topics that were featured most commonly. This will allow you to prioritize topics and decide which you are going to revise first. Don't completely disregard topics that rarely come up, as this could be the year when they appear on the test.

Your next step is to plan a revision strategy. This involves deciding when you work best; some people prefer the mornings, others the afternoons and some prefer working in the evenings. Whichever you choose, make sure that you leave enough time for sleep.

You need to break up your revision into time periods of 40 minutes to 1 hour. The length you choose will depend on your attention span. If your attention starts to wander after 40 minutes, then take a short break. The length of your revision period will also depend on how difficult you find the topic.

Easy topics can be dealt with quickly whilst more difficult topics will require a longer session. There are several revision strategies that you could use.

Note taking is commonly used. Notes will probably not contain all of the information that you need to pass an exam, but they can help with key concepts and it is easier to learn something written in your own style rather than a more complicated explanation from a book.

Revision cards are a similar concept but they are even more concise. These can be used to provide you with keywords that will help you to remember what you should cover in your answers.

Diagrams are another method. A spider diagram is generally used to generate ideas, but they have proved useful as revision aids.

The final strategy is group-based revision. This is useful because you can test each other and it will highlight any topics or areas of weakness that you have. Also, if you are having difficulty with a particular topic someone else in the group may be able to help you.

When it gets closer to your exam date, you should practice writing some timed answers without referring to your notes. You should start by planning your answer, this way even if you run out of time you can give an indication of what you would have included if you had more time. This could potentially allow you to get more credit for your answer.

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