Taking a Practice Test
Through Molly Bloom, we’ve shown you why studying practice
tests is an extremely powerful strategy. Now we’re going to backtrack
and show you exactly how to deploy that strategy.
Controlling Your Environment
Although a practice test is practice, and no one but you
ever needs to see your scores, you should do everything in your
power to make the practice test feel like the real SAT II Physics.
The closer your practice resembles the real thing, the more helpful
it will be. When taking a practice test, follow these rules:
- Time Yourself: Don’t give yourself
any extra time. Be stricter with yourself than the meanest proctor
you can think of. Don’t give yourself time off for bathroom breaks.
If you have to go to the bathroom, let the clock keep running; that’s
what will happen on the real SAT II Physics.
- Take the Test in a Single Sitting: Training
yourself to endure an hour of test taking is part of your preparation.
- Eliminate Distractions: Don’t take the practice
test in a room with lots of people walking through it. Go to a library,
your bedroom, a well-lit closet—anywhere quiet.
Following these guidelines will help you to concentrate
better and speed you toward your target score. However, don’t be
discouraged if you find these rules too strict; you can always bend
a few. Preparing for SAT II Physics should not be torturous! Do
whatever you have to do in order to make sure your studying is interesting
and painless enough that you will actually do it.
Ultimately, if you can follow all of the above rules to
the letter, you will probably be better off. But if following those
rules makes studying excruciating, find little ways to bend them
that won’t interfere too much with your concentration.
Practice Test Strategy
You should take the test as if it were the real deal:
go for the highest score you can get. This doesn’t mean you should
be more daring than you would be on the actual test, guessing blindly
even when you can’t eliminate an answer. It doesn’t mean that you
should speed through the test carelessly. The more closely your
attitude and strategies during the practice test reflect those you’ll
employ during the actual test, the more accurately the practice test
will reflect your strengths and weaknesses: you’ll learn what areas
you should study and how to pace yourself during the test.