Mock Tests – Don’t avoid them! Rock them!
What are these “mock tests”?
“Mock tests” or “dummy tests” are full-length practice tests available in various publications. These tests simulate the actual tests and comprise questions of more or less the same level as of those in the actual tests. Several publications viz. Princeton, Kaplan, Barron’s, Manhattan, Tata Mc Graw’s, etc. provide a student with numerous mock tests.
Why take them?
Taking a couple of mock (practice) full-length tests before appearing for the final test has several advantages and benefits:
- Get a taste of the actual test: Mock tests simulate the actual test like conditions and questions and hence help a student to be acquainted with not just the test pattern/ format but also the types and levels of the questions expected on the test. A student can get a feel of taking an actual test as these mock tests try to re-create test-like conditions.
- Get prepared: Taking a good number of mock tests, help a student become better prepared for the actual test since these tests give ample practice. More importantly, these tests get a student into the “mind-frame” and “groove” of the test and help him/her “focus”, “concentrate” and “build stamina” for the actual test.
- Gauge the level of preparation and the score: A student can very well measure the level of performance and find out his/her weak and strong areas. This helps a student to channelize the energies and efforts in the right direction. A student can know which areas need more emphasis and work and which aspects could be put on the back burner. Also, these tests are often good indicators of the score a student can expect in the actual tests.
How to go about these tests?
- Pre-Mock Test: Try to get over/ finish/ complete with the learning/ revising/ practicing concepts/ questions/ words/ passages from the study material at least 15 – 20 days before the actual test.
- Number of mock tests: Collect at least 8 – 10 mock tests of different publications. See to it that you have at 2 of the official test provider (GMAC for GMAT and GRE, College board for SAT, ETS for GRE and TOEFL and Cambridge for IELTS)
- Per day: Try to take one mock test each day and analyze the performance on each test after the test.
- Assessment: You should refer to the explanation given for analysis to get the mind set and the method right.
- After assessment: Solve the questions that you got wrong again and see to it that you get the technique right. Understand the areas that need more practice and work on them.
- Before the actual test: You should not take any mock tests a day prior to the actual test since you would either be travelling to another city or revising all what you need to or be relaxing before the big day.
With persistent and diligent practice and adequate mock tests, a student should be able to crack the test and get a decent score! And with these tips he/she should be able to rock the mock test and eventually ace the actual one!