|Written by Matt Roberts|
Computer Adaptive Tests (CATs) are increasingly being used by testing companies to replace traditional paper and pencil testing. For Example, the GRE and GMAT are both typically administered using the CAT format. However, students that are used to taking tests in a paper and pencil format style may have difficulty adjusting to the computer adaptive format. This article provides steps a test taker can take to prepare for a Computer Adaptive Test.
Step 1: Practice taking tests on a computer. Practice versions of popular tests such as the GRE and GMAT can be found easilly online for free. Taking multiple online tests and practice questions will help the test taker become comfortable with the differences entailed in taking a test that involves staring at a computer rather than a piece of paper. One major difference is that with CAT the taker cannot go back and change an answer, nor can they skip ahead to easier questions. The taker must answer the questions as they come, and so he may need to learn to manage his time differently. Practicing full length tests in the same format will train the taker to keep track of time and not spend too long on a question.
Step 2: Learn how the order of a question will impact your score. In most cases the first questions presented to you will have the most impact on your overall score. Therefore, it is important to spend more time on the first several questions than you spend on additional questions to make sure you answer them correctly.
Step 3: Learn about your specific test. With any test (CAT or not) it is essential that the test taker learn about the format of the test. Know the directions of each section ahead of time. Then, the test taker does not need to waste any time reading and understanding directions that could be used for the questions.