Using Practice Questions

Reading through your notes can help you familiarize yourself with class material, but you also need some way of determining whether you can actually recall and apply that material. One of the best ways to assess your knowledge of any subject is by using practice questions. There are many sources of practice questions, including assignments, past tests and exams (either your own or ones that former students may have saved), and text books. You can even use your class material to develop your own practice questions. However, even with all of the different sources that you can use to find practice questions, you may still be wondering how can you get the most benefit out of your practice questions? If this is the case, you may want to read on…

    • Simulate actual test conditions: To see whether you really know your stuff, follow the same rules that you will have to follow during the actual test or exam. That means no looking at notes or text books, and no peaking at the answers.
  • Timing is key: You won’t have an unlimited amount of time to answer questions when your test day arrives so you should impose time limits for your practice questions as well. Try to estimate the amount of time that you would have to complete a question similar to your practice question if you encountered it on an actual test, and force yourself to work within that time constraint.
  • Variety is crucial: If you only have a small number of math practice problems to work with, there is a danger that you may simply memorize the steps to complete a specific question instead of developing a comprehension of the process. To avoid this, it’s important to have a large number of practice problems to work with. This means that you should develop additional ones yourself, making sure to change the values and the wording, or ask your instructor whether he or she has any resources that you can use. Having a large selection of practice problems for other subjects is important as well because it will allow you to assess your knowledge of as many topics as possible.

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