If you are studying for your SAT, LSAT or GMAT, here is the best advice I can give you.
Step #1: Buy all the preparation material from the original standardized testing service / organisation. They want you to succeed and are going to be straight with you. Read it all and FOLLOW the recommendations. They created and administer the test. They don’t have any tricks up their sleeves. They have to follow strict protocols and procedures.
Step #2: Only buy a prep program that you know from someone who has used it successfully. Too many of these companies prey on your lack of confidence and exploit you accordingly. First with a pre-set programs and THEN individual tutoring often at exorbitant cost. Let’s face it – if you need tutoring for the test, you have bigger problems…
Step #3: This is the important one. SIMULATE the test as often as time permits. All of these tests have TIME RESTRICTIONS and the key to succeeding is going through it over and over and over again, so that by the time you write the test that counts, you’ve got the PROCESS down pat. I did this to rank in the top percentiles of the GMAT and LSAT tests with LESS stress and better results than my classmates. Success is all about preparation and practice. As a minimum, you want to simulate the test 3 times.
Ideally, you go to the exam room (or one like it) to really put you in the mood. Yes, as you would expect, that’s what I did. I did it in the evening when the classrooms were available, uninterrupted. I think I simulated the tests 4 or 5 times (at 3 hours/test, that’s a BIG commitment, but keep reading why the payoff might be BIGGER than you thought!)
When I suggest simulation, I mean doing it LIKE THE REAL THING. Start and stop ON TIME. Grade yourself and gauge where you lost time and what you can improve. You know from my study book how to do this… This is just a SPECIFIC TASK that you want to PERFECT.
The reason is that standardized testing is important – it can mean the difference between getting in to the school you want or not. (When I placed in the top percentiles, I received invitations from top schools to apply… Imagine that – having THEM chase you! If you didn’t know, the top schools get access to the top students and try to woo them…
That’s why this is so important!