For many of you in our Blueprint classes, practice exam two is just around the corner. This probably seems like a momentous occasion, as it’s the first time you’ve taken a full test since the beginning of the course. You probably have high hopes for and high anxiety surrounding the test. Well, let me set the record straight about what you should, and shouldn’t, be expecting.
First of all, it’s gonna be scary and awful. Sort of. Maybe. You haven’t learned an entire third of the questions, so for a lot of the stuff you’ll see, you’ll have no idea how to attack it. That’s normal, and that’s fine. There’s no reason to think you should do well on questions that are totally foreign to you. On top of that, even with the questions you do know how to do, they’ll be in a totally random order. Until now, you did each question type one-at-a-time (or at best one family at a time), but now they’ll be totally random. This will be disorienting, and that’s normal too. Try not to let it get to you, but some hiccups will be more or less inevitable.
Next, the score. This may sound crazy, but don’t worry about it. Your score, by itself, means very, very little. As mentioned before, there are a number of questions that you haven’t learned how to do, and you’ll be doing pretty poorly on those. Furthermore, since we haven’t touched on timing yet, you’ll miss questions that you don’t get to. Both of those things can lower your score, but they don’t matter (at least not for now). Don’t pay too much attention to your score itself. Rather, pay attention to your accuracy. On the questions you get to, that you’ve learned, you want to see higher accuracy. That’s what matters. If those are better, you’re doing great. A score drop due to other factors isn’t anything to worry about, and is actually pretty normal.
But you can still glean other tidbits from your score. If you did poorly later in the test than earlier, that might be a problem of stamina. More practice in general will help, but try to do your homework in long stretches to help build the endurance. Also, if you started poorly but ended strong, that might point to the need to warm up.
The biggest thing to do for PE2 is relax. If you enter the test calm, focused, and confident, you’ll do that much better, and be able to learn that much more from your test. So keep studying, and good luck!