Preparing for an At-Home Test

  • Posted By: Celena Alduenda
  • October 2, 2020

At-home testing for admissions exams makes it convenient for students to take these important tests. At-home tests are administered online via a securely monitored remote proctoring program. The structure and content of the at-home version is the same as the traditional paper test, but the means by which you take the test is slightly different, so the means by which you prepare for the test is slightly different too. Check out how to prepare for an at-home test.

At-Home Preparation Best Practices

1. Take online practice tests.

If you’re taking the test on the computer, the best way to prepare is by taking practice tests on the computer! Although the paper test and computer test have the same structure and content, the format and modality is different, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with an online, computer test-taking system.

When practicing, make sure not to use any aides that you won’t be able to use on test day. This includes a calculator, dictionary, cellphone, and the internet.

Here are online practice tests for the ISEE and SSAT.

2. Simulate test day.

As often as possible, practice in the same place you will be taking the test and with the same device. For example, if you are going to be taking the test in your home office with the family laptop, practice in your home office with the family laptop whenever possible. It’s important to be comfortable with the device you’ll be using on test day, and taking the test in a familiar environment will help ease your test-day nerves.

When choosing your device, be sure to verify that the device meets the requirements for at-home testing. Your device, either a computer or laptop, must have a webcam, speaker, and microphone. When deciding where to take the test, keep in mind that at-home testing requires you to be in a quiet and private room. It’s important to note that you do not have to take the test in your home. You are allowed to take the test in any quiet, private location, such as a resource room at a library.

3. Limit distractions.

Limit as many distractions as possible during preparation, especially when taking a practice test. Distractions include food, cellphones, music, and T.V. You are allowed to have a snack during designated breaks but not while testing, and you aren’t allowed to have electronic devices, so try not to have them during preparation either.

4. Practice typing.

Although the majority of the test is multiple choice and doesn’t require you to type, the essay portion does, so it’s essential that you practice typing. Again, make sure to practice on the same device you will be using on test day, so that you become comfortable with the keyboard.

5. Use your tools.

You are allowed to have scratch paper, so make sure you utilize this tool during practice as well. Scratch paper is especially helpful for math questions and for outlining your essay. When thinking about your workspace, make sure you have enough room for your device and to comfortably use your scratch paper.

In addition to scratch paper, the at-home testing system, depending on the test, may include built-in tools, such as answer choice elimination, highlighting, and flagging questions. Check to see what tools you’ll have on your test, and make sure you practice using those tools.

Learn about what to expect for the ISEE at home and the SSAT at Home.

Our online platform provides students with materials and tools to prepare for the online, at-home test, as well as the traditional paper tests.

Get started with your prep!