The Princeton Review has been helping students get into their top choice schools since 1981 through classroom courses, online courses and private tutoring. Today, they’d like to share some common test prep mistakes and what to do instead.
Mistake 1 – Spending excessive time memorizing small details. Unlike typical college exams, almost all of the background information needed to answer a question is presented in front of you. The questions are not designed to test you on regurgitation of facts. Mirror this strategy in your preparation by not spending excessive time meticulously memorizing small details. Focus on reviewing fundamental concepts and creating a basic foundation of knowledge, developing a strategic game plan, honing your techniques and taking practice tests.
Mistake 2– Sacrificing prep time for extracurriculars. During the months of your preparation, it is imperative to prioritize studying above most extracurricular activities. No matter what anyone tells you, additional extracurricular involvement will rarely compensate for a lower test score – except for something like being an Olympian.
Mistake 3– Not studying efficiently. With so many practice books, exams and question banks available, preparing for a standardized exam can often be an overwhelming process. Students may spend significant amounts of time studying without corresponding increases in scores. This happens because of inefficient and oftentimes redundant review. To prevent this, make sure that every study session has a clear structure. You should deliberately focus extra time and attention on subjects you find difficult. By giving these weaker areas more work while periodically reinforcing subjects you are already comfortable with, you will see a rise in your score.
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