Four Ways to Squeeze Extra Value From Practice Tests

You probably already know that the very best way to prepare for your QTS tests is by having a go at practice papers.

There are lots of great practice papers available (for example, check these ones out).

As well as having a go at those tests, here are four ways to squeeze extra value from them.


1 – Scrutinise the worked solutions

With most tests you are provided worked solutions that show you how to get to the answer.

Make sure you look at these solutions in detail, particularly for any questions that you struggled with. Try to follow along step-by-step, and make sure you understand how each step follows from the previous one. A great way of doing this is by printing off the worked solution and annotating it with your thoughts.


2 – Repeat the tests

If you try a test that you have already done before, it will not be an accurate guide to the score you would get on a completely fresh test, but it will be really helpful to reinforce your learning.

A few days after you explore the worked solutions, try the test again. It will show you the extent to which you have understood the solutions, and should give you confidence that you will be able to tackle any similar questions that arise.


3 – Recycle questions

If you find that you are getting questions right when you repeat the test just because you remember the answer, it is time to recycle the questions.

Ask a friend or family member to look over the questions and change a few of the numbers in them. This will mean you have questions that require you to use the same technique but that will have different solutions.


4 – Teach it

The ultimate way to know something is to teach it. Once you have had a go at a practice test a few times, looked at the worked solution and recycled the questions, why not try to explain it to somebody else?

Sit with somebody you know (especially somebody who is not mathematically-inclined) and try to explain to them how to do the questions on these tests.

Taking these extra steps will build your confidence and ensure that you squeeze every last drop of value from the practice tests that you do.