Going back to school often means retaking standardized tests. Some of the test results you took during high school or your undergrad may have expired. That’s pretty unfortunate since they taking them required a decent amount of money, time to study and brain power.
But if you have to retake these tests, you might as well put all the effort into preparing for them that you can, so you only have to do it once.
First, let’s determine whether you need to retake the test or not.
SAT/ACT results don’t technically expire, but after the five-year mark, colleges don’t view the results the same way they did when you first took them as they aren’t as accurate a predictor. But you shouldn’t have to take these again.
When discussing post-graduate admissions tests, the window of opportunity closes quicker. GRE, GMAT and LAST test results are valid for five years while the MCAT is valid for only three years.
Now, what resources are available to you, as a military spouse, for test preparation?
1. Your Local Library. Your local library may only have paper copies of test prep books, but that doesn’t mean they are outdated. It is important to note that there may be new sections of tests implemented since the book was published, so double-check. But the books at the library are probably comprehensive prep books directly from the test prep companies and can be used to familiarize yourself with the format and content, and may even have some practice tests in them.
2. Veritas Prep. The Veritas website offers classes as well as practice tests, quizzes and questions for both the GMAT and GRE tests. You can get one complete practice test for free and can purchase six additional tests less than $50. (Sometimes sales bring them as low as six tests for $20.)
3. Khan Academy. You may be familiar with Khan Academy for your kids, but did you know their test prep section includes Praxis, NCLEX-RN, MCAT, LSAT and GMAT? With lessons and evaluations to help you identify your weaknesses, and then improve them, you will be well on your way to reaching your test goal.
4. Manhattan Prep. Another website that provides test prep materials for free for students looking to take the GMAT, GRE or LSAT, Manhattan Prep offers an on-demand course and a live class option, that you can try for free. They also have a community to join, free events, practice tests and study tools.
5. MWR Digital Library. Accessible via Military OneSource or through your installation library, this online database gets you access to test prep resources including EBSCO Learning Express. Among the other books and online resources, you will find a ton of research materials.
Studying for standardized tests is important, but we know it’s not the only important thing you are doing right now. Along with these free test prep options, make sure you’re maintaining a healthy lifestyle of getting enough sleep, eating well and exercising, too.
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