The 3 Steps to a Successful Test Prep Plan

  • Posted By: Celena Alduenda
  • May 20, 2020
The 3 Steps of Test Prep

Are you preparing for an admissions test? Follow our simple, 3-step plan to achieve test success!

1. Take a full-length practice test!

The initial practice test serves as a diagnostic and is the jumping-off point for the preparation process. It’s best to take this test as early as possible, but it is never too late. No matter how close your test date is, a practice test will help you know what to expect and provide familiarity with the test’s style, difficulty, and content. To get the most accurate diagnosis, you should take the test in an environment that simulates test day. Sit at a desk in a quiet area with no distractions (TV, food, other people, etc.) and follow the break schedule for the test. Check out the breakdown for the SSAT and ISEE and for the ACT and SAT.

2. Review practice test results.

Our scoring algorithm uses data from thousands of other students to deliver highly accurate scores. You will receive scaled scores, personal score ranges, and percentiles or stanines for each section. Additionally, section results will be broken down by difficulty and subtype and question-by-question time allotment. The review process is possibly the most important step. Start with overall trends first. Which sections went well, and in which sections would you like to see improvement? Then, consider time management. Did you manage your time effectively on each section? Did you run out of time to answer all of the questions, or did you rush through the section?

3. Do targeted practice.

This is the step at which all of the learning takes place! After you have reflected on your test results, go back through the test and review every question you answered incorrectly or skipped. Read the answer explanation and make sure you know how to do that question if you were to see something similar again. Then, practice those specific question types until you feel confident with those skills.


Test preparation is an iterative process. Each practice test serves as a benchmark of progress and as a roadmap for what to work on next. Reviewing and studying between practice tests promotes growth and improvement. After you review your test results and practice the questions you missed, take another practice test to gauge your progress and determine what areas may require additional practice.

Approach preparation one step at a time, and don't get discouraged if you aren't reaching your goals immediately or as quickly as you expected. Like any other difficult task, test preparation is a process that requires time, dedication, and perseverance.

Get started with your test prep today!

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