Here at Designer Hacks, we think using ARE practice exams is the best way to study for the ARE exam. Ok, we may be slightly biased, but there’s plenty of research to back us up. Don’t you think the best way to be prepared for any situation is to know what to expect? Not only do ARE practice exams familiarize you with the content and structure of the real thing, but many studies have shown that practice tests can increase your final score. The way you set up your study environment may even help you recall information.
Studies researching practice exams for students taking the SAT have shown that even taking one practice exam can improve their test score by 30 points. If these students continue taking practice exams, particularly focusing on areas they need improvement on, they can raise their scores by 100-400 points. *AHEM* That’s why we give you individual category scores at the end of each practice exam you take. Taking ARE practice exams will have the same benefits because you are testing your knowledge using the same structure of the actual test. You can also hone in on areas that you may need more help in, and spend extra time studying those areas. Without taking a practice exam, you may never know which areas you should study more for.
Getting the Most out of ARE Practice Exams
A study by D. R Godden revealed that if you study in an environment similar to the one you’ll be testing in, you will be more likely to recall more information. Sure you won’t be able to blast your favorite album or light any candles on the day of the test, but there are small things you can replicate when taking a practice exam. Wear the same perfume when you study or eat a specific kind of candy when you study and then have the same thing right before you take your exam. This will make your mind associate the smell or taste with what you are studying, and make recalling information on the day of the test easier.
If you already know what the testing environment is going to be like, try creating a similar environment when you sit down to take a practice exam. To mimic the same vibe as a testing center at home, try sitting at a table or desk and keep the noise level low. Recreating a similar environment when taking a practice exam will better prepare you for what to expect, and it will help you recall all of that hard-earned knowledge.
Similarly, a “mood” experiment done in 1989 demonstrated that being in the same mood you were while studying will also help you recall more information. Try to put yourself in the same mindset you hope to be in before the exam- which we hope is relaxed! Treat your practice exams just like you would treat the real exam. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, make sure you are well rested, and you’ve had something to eat (on the test AND when you practice). This will train your body and mind ahead of time to be ready for the exam and it will make your study time more effective.
Check out these other tips to see how you can get the most out of your studying!
There are a lot of great study techniques out there, but researchers have discovered that taking practice is exams is the best way to study. Simply taking ARE practice exams will set you up for success by testing your knowledge and preparing you for what to expect on the day of the exam. By controlling your environment, you can make study time even more beneficial. So what are you waiting for? Start practicing! Practice makes perfect after all.