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When To Take Practice Tests???

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cathyrn

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I am starting the Princeton review course soon but wanted to start content review right now. I have all the GS test 1-10( bought from ebay for cheaper!!!), the 3 TBR test and all the paper Kaplan tests. Also with the course i can all the AAMC and the PR tests. I am confused on the order i should take all these tests. Does anyone have any advice?
 
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RockyMD

when i took the kap course, the teacher told us to start doing tests (2-3 per week) starting 5 weeks before the test date. Do as much content review before those 5 weeks. The five weeks should be used to brush up on weak areas you discover as you go through FL's. I think it's sound advice. :)
 

SN2ed

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When is your test date? This would help me come up with a good answer for you.
 

cathyrn

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i am planning to take test in may 2009 but i want to start studying now because i graduated in 2005 and i work full time.
 

ldnk

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Take one now-ish just to get a feel for what it will be like. Then put that test at the very bottom of the pile and ignore it until April. By then you will probably forget the questions and you could re-use in your final prep.

Starting to study almost a full year before an exam is impressive. Sure you are working full time, but that means you can still go at an incredibly slow pace to get through the material and still have months to twiddle your thumbs in the process. Save the tests, work up your material and do one maybe every other month at least until the new year.
 

unsung

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I wouldn't start taking any tests yet until I'm mostly or totally done with content review. Maybe take one to diagnose your starting point, but that's it. I took 2 TPR tests early on in my content review, and let me tell you now, they were POINTLESS. They took time to do and they are completely useless now to me in terms of anything. Of course I missed a bunch of questions-- I hadn't reviewed the topics yet.

Actually, the course in general kind of was a waste because while the classes were helpful, the content didn't really sink in until I actually had the time to sit down myself and really learn the material. Right now after I've already done the content review myself, I think having a class to go to would be helpful. Kind of backwards I know... if I already have the content down, why go to class? But seriously, trying to "practice" by doing tests or practice passages before you've got the content down comfortably, is just kind of a waste of time. Yes, it teaches you test taking skills, and maybe it's good practice for a test situation where you have to learn how to make educated guesses based on the passage while not knowing the content. But, it's really not good for much else, because since you don't have the content down, as soon as you've done the passage you forget the material it tested. So, if you *are* taking a class, I would suggest really trying to review the content beforehand or at least keep up with the class as you're attending it. It'll have more of a lasting impact that way.

Anyway, that's kind of a digression ;) But, all that is just to say, don't worry about taking practice tests early on-- by the time you actually finish content review, and you look back on those earlier tests (if you took any), it'll be like they were written in a foreign language. The mistakes you made won't correlate at all to the stuff you know, and it will have just been a waste of time.
 

moto_za

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IMO you learn more practicing and then reviewing your weaknesses, then just sitting down and studying.
I wouldn't start taking any tests yet until I'm mostly or totally done with content review. Maybe take one to diagnose your starting point, but that's it. I took 2 TPR tests early on in my content review, and let me tell you now, they were POINTLESS. They took time to do and they are completely useless now to me in terms of anything. Of course I missed a bunch of questions-- I hadn't reviewed the topics yet.

Actually, the course in general kind of was a waste because while the classes were helpful, the content didn't really sink in until I actually had the time to sit down myself and really learn the material. Right now after I've already done the content review myself, I think having a class to go to would be helpful. Kind of backwards I know... if I already have the content down, why go to class? But seriously, trying to "practice" by doing tests or practice passages before you've got the content down comfortably, is just kind of a waste of time. Yes, it teaches you test taking skills, and maybe it's good practice for a test situation where you have to learn how to make educated guesses based on the passage while not knowing the content. But, it's really not good for much else, because since you don't have the content down, as soon as you've done the passage you forget the material it tested. So, if you *are* taking a class, I would suggest really trying to review the content beforehand or at least keep up with the class as you're attending it. It'll have more of a lasting impact that way.

Anyway, that's kind of a digression ;) But, all that is just to say, don't worry about taking practice tests early on-- by the time you actually finish content review, and you look back on those earlier tests (if you took any), it'll be like they were written in a foreign language. The mistakes you made won't correlate at all to the stuff you know, and it will have just been a waste of time.
 
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