PCAT Prep Plus 2018-2019: 2 Practice Tests + Proven Strategies + Online
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
In addition to providing you with the best practice questions and test strategies, Kaplan’s team of Learning Scientists are dedicated to researching and testing the best methods for getting the most out of your study time. Here are their top five tips for improving retention:
Start each study session with a round of practice questions.
Practice questions provide focus for each study session by showing you what you still need to learn and by helping you draw connections between what you already know and what you will be studying. Students who test ahead of time score higher on the PCAT after studying than students who don’t pre-test. Take time to read the explanations to your practice questions carefully. Building familiarity with the structure of
the questions and answers will help you feel more comfortable with the test itself. Review multiple topics in one study session.
This may seem counterintuitive—we’re used to practicing one skill at a time in order to improve each skill. However, research shows that weaving topics together leads to increased learning. Not only that, testmakers often include more than one topic in a single question. Studying in an integrated manner is the most effective way to prepare for the PCAT.
Customize the content.
Drawing attention to difficult or critical content can ensure you don’t overlook it as you read and re-read sections. The best way to do this is to make it more visual—highlight, make tabs, use stickies, whatever sworks. We recommend highlighting only the most important or difficult topics. Selective highlighting is great for emphasizing parts of the text, but over-highlighting can have the opposite effect.
Repeat topics over time.
Many people try to memorize concepts by repeating them over and over again in succession. Our research shows that retention is improved by spacing out the repeats over time and mixing up the order in which you study content. For example, try reading the chapters in a different order the second (or third!) time around. Revisit practice questions that you answered incorrectly in a new sequence. Sometimes information you reviewed more recently can help you better understand those questions and solutions.
Take a moment to reflect.
When you finish reading a chapter or section for the first time, stop and think about what you read. Jot down a few thoughts about why the content is important or what topics came to mind when you read it.Associating learning with a memory is a fantastic way to retain information! This also works when answering questions. After answering a question, take a moment to think through each step you took to arrive at a solution. What lead you to the answer you chose? Understanding the steps you took will help you make good decisions when answering future questions.
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