We’ve heard a lot about the conventional methods – classroom learning, practice exams, simulation-based testing – that have been employed to assist students in preparing for these key exams. Long tests and practice exams are often appropriate preparation methods however sometimes they may be too broad-based or inflexible to fit a student’s need to work on specific weak areas. Short, material-targeted practice quizzes have proven to be effective in helping students strengthen specific weak areas. Students who have used short quizzes in conjunction with traditional, practice exam preparation methods have reported strikingly positive results.
What makes short quizzes so effective in preparing for exams? A major factor is the ability of a short quiz to test a specific area of knowledge rather than all of the required material. For example, the SAT Critical Reading test contains two major sections of questions “reading comprehension” and “vocabulary in context” and even within these questions, different types appear. For example, a student may be very bad at summarizing a passage’s main focus, which in turn results in him getting a lower score every time on a major practice test. With shorter quizzes on only the main focus questions, the student will be able to quickly see how much room he has for improvement.
Pinpointing weaknesses, however, is only one part of the equation. With shorter quizzes, students can also receive customized feedback. Online practice quizzes in particular offer students the chance to receive instant feedback, which can be very helpful if a student is trying to “cram” for a big exam. Most students who take online practice quizzes agree that instant feedback is a major reason why they take the quizzes instead of simply reading preparation material or “cram sheets.” Candidates for IT certification, for example, will often need to read explanations for the answers to questions as many of the questions will test each candidate’s ability to analyze rather than to simply recall knowledge.
Online quizzes also offer the ability to include special media in questions that may appear on actual exams. For example, GED exams sometimes feature specialized images or pictures in order to assist the test-taker on a particular problem. Some IT or professional certification exams may even require a video demonstration of a particular problem to troubleshoot. All of this media and more can be included on an online practice quiz, which can significantly improve the testing experience and offer a great deal of realism to the test-taker.
The shorter length of the online quizzes combined with the customized feedback makes for an incredibly personalized and flexible exam preparation experience. Students note that while these large exams are useful to take as gauges or diagnostics, short quizzes are useful to improve on a specific weakness. In response, these same students have turned to a preparation regimen that includes both full-length exams and frequent quizzing.
It’s not by chance that so many students are using short, targeted online quizzes to quickly enhance their exam scores. The flexibility of these quizzes, coupled with their customizable feedback, offers to the test-taker the chance to improve on the areas that they need the most help with. In conjunction with classroom learning, everyday studying, and practice examinations, short quizzes can offer students the ability to significantly improve their performance on even the toughest exams.