Competition in competitive exams has never been higher. Whether it is medicine, engineering, law, or accounting - practically all subjects and streams have premier institutions, and almost every one of them has a competitive exam paired up with it. It goes without saying that these competitive exams, by the very nature of making people eligible for prestigious institutions, will be very competitive. Preparing for such exams can be quite hectic and strenuous - which is where mock tests come in handy. So what is a mock test, and how is it beneficial to competitive exams?
What is a Mock Test?
A mock test is an examination that simulates the conditions of a competitive exam without having to face all the consequences of having written the exam. It is an extremely effective way of preparing for an exam. They are essentially practice papers made in the exact image of the exam they are going to attempt. So why are mock tests so important?
Reasons Why Mock Tests are Important
There are several reasons why mock tests are essential to the exam preparation process, a few of which are listed below.
Get an Idea of the General Exam Pattern
Knowing the exam pattern is one of the most vital things to be considered when preparing for a competitive exam. If you are aware of the pattern of the exam, you will get an idea about how many questions will be there, how many sections will be present, how many questions will come from each section, and how many questions will get you how much marks, and so on. This is crucial to exam preparation because it essentially helps you figure out which sections to focus on more to get more marks. It also helps you play to your strengths in the exam since you will get an idea about which sections are going to have what questions and which ones you know best.
Analyze Preparation and Performance
As mentioned earlier, taking a mock test is one of the most effective ways of preparing for an exam. This is because it helps you as a student self-assess what went wrong with your preparation. Since most competitive exams are MCQ-based, the valuation is basically the same everywhere, hence making preparation even more effective. In addition to knowing what went wrong with your preparation, you can also get an idea about what went right, and improve on that.
Helps You Test Different Strategies
This is arguably one of the best activities to boost your chances of getting through the exam. Every person has their own way of preparation, and to be fair, every one of them is valid. However, preparing for a competitive exam requires a very mixed approach. Traditional ways of preparation may not always help. Mock tests are especially helpful in this regard because they help the student try out different types of strategies that would help them get better marks in the exam. This will provide a good way to try out and give a complete trial and error approach to your preparation rather than just relying on luck alone to make it.
Better Time Management
Time management is a very important part of any exam, and in the case of competitive exams, every second matters. On average, every student will receive only about one and a half minutes for each question. However, this is not how every person functions primarily. Some people would take less time on one section while another person would take more time on the same. This can only be assessed by practicing repeatedly and coming up with a mental calculation of how much time you would take for each section and how many you can attend in how much time.
Reduces Exam Stress
Exam anxiety can easily affect your performance in exams. Competitive exams can take this up a notch because the stakes are much higher. This can lead to nervousness, which is one of the worst things to happen right before the exam. Nervousness can also affect you during your preparation time as well, making it difficult to focus, concentrate on your studies, and not be able to recollect what you studied. Most of this stress arises from the anticipation of not knowing what to expect and whether or not it would be possible to complete the exam in time. This can be sorted out by taking a mock test. A mock test helps you time yourself accurately in the exam hall as well as know the exam pattern, as mentioned before, helping them understand that there is no need for stress.
Helps Keep Track of Progress
Mock tests help students understand where they are at in terms of knowledge and aptitude and how much harder they have to prepare to reach their goals. A mock test gives students an almost picture-perfect rendering of what they have to do to improve themselves and which areas they must improve upon. If studying at a coaching center, coupled with a ranking system, students can also get an idea of where they stand among their peers and competitors and how much more they have to work to get the desired result.
So in short, mock tests help people understand where they stand with respect to what they know. It is an indicator of progress and a metric for competitive introspection. If you are someone who is planning on taking highly competitive exams like NEET, JEE, the civil service exams, CLAT, etc. it would be a good idea to attempt as many mock tests as possible so as to improve the way you prepare. It might seem strenuous at first, but with consistent effort, any hard rock will crack.