A Beginner’s Guide to Preparing for a Standardized Test

By Elena and Lily

Standardized tests are sadly huge parts of academia. We take them all throughout primary education all up through college. Although there are many issues with them, you have to learn how to take them in order to succeed. Lucky for you, we have a few tips for you today on how to prepare for a standardized test!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Start Early

You have to start studying early, especially if you struggle on standardized tests. This means taking practice tests months in advance and figuring out exactly what your issues are, and fixing them. 

You want to understand the format of the test and what kind of questions are going to be on the test as soon as possible.

Starting early also depends on what standardized test it is. If you’re taking an AP test, you might only be able to start studying a month or two in advance, as you’re still learning the content, however your classes should be taking you through the test format. If they aren’t, you need to start early and learn the formats and different tips and tricks your teachers aren’t teaching you.

On the other hand, if you’re taking a test such as the ACT or SAT, you might need to start studying months in advance. They’re difficult tests, with a lot of secrets to them that you can’t learn in a short period of time, especially if you’re extremely busy as well.

Prep Books

Most standardized tests have some sort of prep book. You might not need one for every standardized test, such as some of the AP tests, but for other AP tests and other standardized tests, you absolutely want to get a prep book.

You also need to do your research on what prep books are the best. Not all prep books are created equally, and you might need to do some research.

The good part about standardized tests is that they don’t often change. This means you absolutely can and should buy a used/older book rather than the newest edition (unless you know the test just changed. Then you’re out of luck). 

If you’d like an article on what kind of prep books are best for different standardized tests, leave a comment down below and let us know which standardized test you want us to look at.

Create a Target Score

You need to create a target score for yourself, especially if you’re preparing. You want to create a goal for yourself, so that you actually have something to work for. 

A target score can change over time, if you realize it’s not feasible or that you can do better, but you want to start with a score you know you can achieve with a bit of work.

Create the target score after you take a practice test online. This will give you an idea of where you are and how much room you can improve in the time before taking your test. Don’t set something unrealistic but try to improve, especially in sections you feel you can do better on. This will take some studying and time but as long as your goal is feasible you’ll be much happier when you are finished. 

Know Your Faults

Obviously, practicing will help you figure this out, but you absolutely need to be aware of your shortcomings to be able to achieve the results that you want. You can’t expect to magically get the top score, when you haven’t put in the work or don’t know your shortfalls.

Before you even start studying, you need to know what you need to focus on, and what you don’t need to study as much. Depending on the test, what you need to study may be different, and it depends on your target score.

Maybe you excel in reading but you struggle more in math. You need to recognise this and make a plan to spend your time studying these subjects. Each test will have different levels of difficulty in their subjects, so take the time to get to know each test and what you need to learn. 

Furthermore, some tests may be easier to raise scores when you get just a couple of more questions right from a section you’re already good at, for some tests that’s not the case.

Thank you so much for reading today’s article! We know we pushed our article that was supposed to be today back again, but we just wanted to make sure that article is going to be the best it can. If you enjoyed this article, please leave a like and if you like our content subscribe to our rss feed and follow our blog. For more content and updates on our posts, check out our social media and patreon, which will be linked down below. As always, stay safe and keep on overachieving!

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