It is important that all your hard work spent studying is supplemented by several written practice tests. How else will you determine how well you are learning concepts? Practice tests provide feedback on your progress in learning the necessary concepts for each section of the test. A practice test gives you a quick snapshot and sense of the bigger picture regarding your levels of knowledge and ability to effectively apply skills and strategies. Practice tests help you determine areas of strength and need so you can study more effectively and efficiently.
Take practice tests frequently in a simulated test-taking environment to get comfortable with the length of the test, lessen test-taking anxiety, and boost confidence in what you know and how well you are applying your knowledge. Make sure that you are writing the test in a quiet space with no distractions, have all your writing utensils ready, and use a timer.
Practice tests allow you to be exposed to the varied ways in which topics can be presented, particularly the concepts in the Quantitative sections. For example, it’s one thing to understand the concept of percentages, but you may not be familiar with the different percentage question types that consistently show up on the SSAT. By taking frequent practice tests, you will be exposed to a variety of question types and be able to recognize which questions are easy, medium, and hard in difficulty level; and which questions take more time to complete. A particular question type might be easy and quickly done, easy and time-consuming to answer, or difficult and time-consuming to answer correctly. As your familiarity with the test structure, content and question types, you will be able to refine your approach to each question by selecting the appropriate strategy to attack each question, and sometimes the best strategy is to skip the question and revisit it later!
It’s also important to remember that although practice tests are essential for preparation, the creators of the SSAT never release previously administered tests to the public. This means that no score you get from a practice test will be a perfect estimate of how you’ll do on the real thing- even the ones from the official guide book! The scores will, however, give you a good sense of where you’re improving and where you need to focus more effort.