I’m resuming work with a student tomorrow who has taken her test once and is preparing to take it again. Thankfully, she did well on her first time around, so this second effort is an attempt to do something great rather than an attempt to avoid a disaster. Should you find yourself in a position where you’re going to re-take your test, here are 5 quick tips to remember.
- Take a break- The test day experience is the culmination of a long process and it can be stressful. Compounding that stress is the fact that if you’re re-taking the test you didn’t get the result you wanted. So after getting your results, you’re stressed and disappointed. That’s no place to start your studying process. Take a couple days off and don’t worry about the test so that you can be refreshed and ready to tackle it again.
- Don’t wait too long- While a break is an excellent idea, don’t want too long. If your break extends more than a couple weeks your knowledge of those concepts you worked so hard to nail down will begin to slip. Some rest is good, but more is not better.
- Take an inventory- By this point you not only have a large volume of practice tests, but you have an experience with the real thing. Take a few moments before you begin studying to list out all the things you do well and all the things that need some additional work. Be honest with yourself. A truthful assessment is first step toward great results.
- Make some goals- Everyone’s goal is “score higher” but that goal is too macro to be helpful. List out some “micro-goals”. Examples might be “Memorize all exponent rules”, “Look out for the difference of squares” or “Be aware of timing so I don’t get stuck too long on one question.”
- Structure your practice around your goals- Now that you have a list of things that you need to accomplish before test day (round two), you have a great model for your practice sessions. As your first test day approaches, your practice likely became less specific and more focused on the big picture. Use this opportunity to check some of those micro-goals off your list.
Keep these tips in mind and round two can be just what you need to get that one score you want!