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Preparing for Test Day: Practice Test Tips

One way you can be very well prepared to tackle your exam is by taking practice tests. You probably already knew this. However, here is something you might not have known. The best way to do the practice tests is to replicate real testing conditions as much as possible. In other words, wherever you take a practice test, try to make that space feel like the testing environment. This is very much the same philosophy as the "train as you fight" theory used by the military. it does them no good to practice their combat techniques in ideal conditions because they will not have those ideal conditions when they have to implement the techniques. In the same way, taking long breaks and doing only one section per day will not prepare you for the real testing environment.

Here are some tips to help you create your own test-taking environment at home:
*Get your parents to assist by planning with them when you need your home to be quiet. Make sure siblings are all in agreement and someone takes the dog out for a few hours.
*Plan to do all sections of the test in the exact manner you will take them, including how you go from one section to the next, when and how long your breaks are, etc.
*Sit at a table or desk to do the practice test. Do not do the practice test sitting or lying on the couch, your bed, or in the living room. These may be more comfortable locations, but you will not have such luxuries on test day.
*Use a timer to time the sections. Look at it from time to time so you know how much time you have left. The test proctor on test day will write the amount of time you have left on the board. This is as close to that as you can get.
*If you prefer, have a parent or helpful sibling proctor your test and keep time.
*Take your breaks. If the test book says you get a ten-minute break, take the whole break. Walk around, use the restroom, or sip water. Don't just sit there. Move around a bit and get the blood flowing.
*Eat something (just a little) during the breaks if you need to but limit the breaks to the prescribed times.
*Do the test sections in the order that they appear.
*Just like with the real test, plan to do something fun or relaxing after your practice test.

If you follow these directions with each practice test you take, you will give yourself the best possible edge to get ahead when it comes to test day.

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