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Practice test fatigue?


baal

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I got a 159 on the quantitative part of a Manhattan Prep practice test. I bought the practice test package, and this time the test (online) screwed up (probably my internet connection) so I wasted a bunch of time on the second quantitative section trying to navigate between questions, and thus didn't even answer 1/2 of the questions on the second section. I still got 159, mostly because I answered the first section almost perfectly. Frustrating, because I feel like I could have done even better had the navigation not screwed up.

Since then I've tried taking a practice test again (always sans essay), basically one a day, but now I'm missing even questions on the first (easier) section. I can't get above that 159 mark, which I got the first time when I didn't know how to budget time, and the second time when the test q's weren't loading.
It almost seems like there is an absolutely unavoidable form of test fatigue, where my mind simply won't perform up to par. I'm kind of stubborn, and so I try to force it, but it doesn't work.

Has anyone else noticed this and gotten around it? I feel like I need to forget about my performance on this test and rejuvenate my self-confidence and motivation or something before trying again.

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I'm not familiar with how this prep software works, but if multiple attempts at a practice test result in the same score, maybe you should be more strategic and pinpoint why you are not getting past 159. I think practice test fatigue can play a factor, so maybe try one of the following:

 

1. Take a few days off and then take a practice test again.

 

2. Can your test software tell you what types of questions you are missing, rather than just which questions? If not, can you examine all of the questions that you miss and categorize them into the various "types"and then work on improving that aspect? 

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I got a 159 on the quantitative part of a Manhattan Prep practice test. I bought the practice test package, and this time the test (online) screwed up (probably my internet connection) so I wasted a bunch of time on the second quantitative section trying to navigate between questions, and thus didn't even answer 1/2 of the questions on the second section. I still got 159, mostly because I answered the first section almost perfectly. Frustrating, because I feel like I could have done even better had the navigation not screwed up.

Since then I've tried taking a practice test again (always sans essay), basically one a day, but now I'm missing even questions on the first (easier) section. I can't get above that 159 mark, which I got the first time when I didn't know how to budget time, and the second time when the test q's weren't loading.

It almost seems like there is an absolutely unavoidable form of test fatigue, where my mind simply won't perform up to par. I'm kind of stubborn, and so I try to force it, but it doesn't work.

Has anyone else noticed this and gotten around it? I feel like I need to forget about my performance on this test and rejuvenate my self-confidence and motivation or something before trying again.

 

This is common, and it is called a "plateau". TakeruK pretty much summarized the solution.

 

Don't take a prep-test daily. Give yourself at least a couple days( I would use 1 week) to identify your errors and get more practice on those.(take days off tests, not off practice).

 

Usually, after that you will see a boost in your score(my verbal jumped from 157 steady to 161 after. I ended with 163 on the real test).

 

Manhattan prep will allow you to see the wrong answers and the time it took you to reply. That way you will see where you need to improve/practice.

Edited by Mechanician2015
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Hi baal,

 

What you're experiencing happens to many Test Takers, so you're not alone. 

 

Practice MST Tests are "measuring devices" - they won't make you a better Test Taker, but they will give you an accurate assessment of your abilities (assuming that you use them correctly). Thus, you should NOT be taking a practice Test every day and you should NOT be skipping sections of the Tests when you do take them.

 

Test Day is a specific "event" that you have to train for. To raise your scores, you have to define the types of questions that you're getting wrong and WHY you're getting them wrong. You also have to put in the necessary practice time and hone your skills.

 

For example, on this last Test, how many questions did you get wrong because of a silly/little mistake? What was the mistake? How could you avoid making it next time? 

 

In the Verbal section, how many questions did you get wrong because you 'narrowed it down to 2 choices and "guessed wrong"?' That means you were really close to getting the question correct, but you still missed something. That problem won't fix itself - taking another Test the next day won't fix it either.

 

Thankfully, the GRE is a predictable, standardized Test, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

 

To that end....

1) How long have you been studying?

2) What practice materials have you been using? 

3) When are you planning to take the Official GRE?

 

GRE masters aren't born, they're made,

Rich

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I wouldn't worry too much about this as long as you are learning something from each test - new concepts you need to study, types of questions that trouble you, vocabulary words you didn't know, and so on.  If you are making silly mistakes on the math questions, then note that and put extra focus on reading/understanding the question wording the next time.

 

All that said, one per day is probably too many.  You should let your mind rest and allow yourself to slowly improve your skills and knowledge, not just try to cram it all in.

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