You’ve got the study guide. You’ve set your exam date. You’ve sat down to study… and it isn’t working. You can’t concentrate, things aren’t sticking and you don’t seem to be improving. Let’s take a look at 5 things that are ruining your MAT practice.
While it is very difficult to find enough time to practice, making sure you have long enough to sit down, get settled and focus on what you want to achieve for that session is vital. Don’t try to wedge in 15 minutes between one activity and the next. Really give yourself time to settle into the task. While giving yourself a full hour to simulate the test environment is ideal, it is also hard to set aside often. Try scheduling in at least 30 minutes for the session without something too strenuous or stressful on either side of the time. Know what you want to focus on and have everything ready when you sit down.
Targeted MAT Practice
Another problem spot may be that you are trying to cover everything in each MAT practice session. Review the official study guide and take a look at the types of things you want to focus on. Is it speed for the simple questions? Practice timing yourself for a set number of questions to get through. Is it figuring out word play? Find the tips and then take a look at difficult examples that you’ve already collected. With the different types of analogies listed in the guide, you can target your strengths and weaknesses for separate practice sessions. Take at least one practice session time to make a list of the areas you want to review and schedule them for yourself in your practice times.
Be loyal to the times that you have set aside for your practice. If you are a calendar user, block off that time. Make a note on your email at work that you are busy for that time. Turn your phone off so you are not disturbed while practicing. Treat this as though it were an important client that you do not want to offend by not taking them seriously. When you look at it, it really is–your client is your future education and it’s worth the time.
Try to be as consistent as possible when scheduling your practice times. Just as with any other endeavor, practice makes progress but you are hindering yourself if you only practice sporadically. Runners run, lifters lift, and test takers take tests. Consistency is key. You will get your brain in the right mode and then refine your skills when you know to expect the practice.
Not necessarily timing as in how quickly you answer the questions but pick the time of day that you will most likely have the most consistency to set aside for MAT practice. Some people are morning people; set your alarm a few minutes early and iron your clothes the night before. If you are a night person, make sure the house is settled for the night and then get ready to study. It doesn’t have to be every day, but it does need to be often enough that you don’t forget what you’ve studied in the times previous. This also is dependent on how quickly your test is scheduled. You’ll have a different timetable if you have a month or more versus if you only have a week.
Take a look at these 5 things that may be ruining your MAT practice and make sure they are not a problem for you. Schedule your time and be consistent in your practice attendance. Make your study schedule and find the time of day that is best for you. Then, do your best!