At Mr. Test Prep, we cannot express often enough the importance of practice tests for preparing for and
performing well on the SAT or ACT. In fact, we even design our methodology around taking practice tests.
However, there can be a few instances when practice test cease to be beneficial.
Don’t let practice test lull you into complacency. Taking multiple practice tests, without stopping to study
your trouble areas won’t help you get better. You will have a better understanding of the test in general,
but you won’t improve your skills if you don’t spend focused study time on your most challenging material.
If you don’t go back and look at the practice exams in order to understand your mistakes, your time taking
practice test is not serving you. You need to work to understand why you got specific problems wrong and
what you need to do in the future to get similar questions right. Take the time to evaluate the whys of your
score, ask yourself:
• “Did I misunderstand the questions?”
• “Did I not know the appropriate material?”
• “Did I use the wrong strategy for finding an answer?”
Sometimes you will need to improve your test taking skills, while other times you will need to have a more
thorough understanding of the material.
Practice testing, especially taking full practice tests, requires a lot of time. If you use all of your time taking
practice tests you will not have adequate time to study in order to improve your skills. Plan out your
practice tests so that you can use them to evaluate your improvement. Space them out so that you can
study trouble spots and work to improve your score.
Remember the ultimate goal of practice tests is to improve your score. This requires a thoughtful plan,
dedicated study time, and intimate knowledge of the exam. Practice tests will help you plan out your
studies and track progress, but they cannot entirely replace learning the necessary material. Make a plan
for your study that includes several practice tests, but isn’t overwhelmingly dominated by them. Find the
right balance between practicing and studying so that you feel confident about the format of the exam and
the material covered on the exam.
Since 1997, Mr. Test Prep has run the #1 Menlo Park SAT Prep program. By combining the benefits of private SAT instruction with the strengths of a group testing environment, Mr. Test Prep offers the best of both worlds: one-on-one attention, experienced academic counseling, group testing and a personal bond. By hosting this in a semi-group environment, Mr. Test Prep prepares his students for a real-world test experience. High school students who use his Menlo Park SAT Prep services will be equipped with the tools they need to succeed in the highly competitive world of standardized testing.