How Many Times Should You Take a Mock Exam before the Real Deal?

Mock exams are a part of life for medical students, and while these exams can seem boring or excessive, they actually play a very important role in your overall success. Below, you will learn more about the importance of mock exams and the number of times you should take them before the date of the real exam.

What is a Mock Exam?

A mock exam is a set of questions designed to look and feel like your real exam. The difference is that the score you get on a mock exam is of no matter and bears no consequence on your future career whereas your actual medical licensing examination does. A mock exam may be shorter than the real thing, or it may be roughly the same length. The closer the mock exam to the actual exam, the better prepared you will feel on exam day.

What are the Benefits of a Mock Exam?

There are many benefits associated with medical mock exams.

  • It provides a sense of urgency. Because up to 75% of students procrastinate, and because 50% of these students procrastinate to the point that it causes academic issues, mock exams are phenomenal for creating a sense of urgency and encouraging students to prepare.
  • Spacing out revision sessions improves memory and recall. Mock exams are great for reviewing content because they allow enough time for students to forget and then relearn that content, which improves memory and recall significantly.
  • Asking “why” improves recollection. Mock exams force students to ask themselves “why”; in other words, rather than simply reading a book, students who take mock exams must think critically. This makes them up to 50% more likely to recall information than students who do not take these exams at all.
  • It promotes success. Finally, a study on groups of students who took mock exams prior to final exams showed that students who took mock exams scored far higher than students who did not take them and studied in other ways, instead.

How Many Times Should You Take a Mock Exam?

This is a common question, and the truth is that there is no one universal answer. You should always take mock exams a minimum of three times to ensure that you have covered all your bases, but for most people, even more is better. Mock exams serve as a study aid rather than a guide to your preparedness to take the real exam, and if you find yourself panicking or missing questions on your mock exam, there’s a good chance you may feel the same way on test day. Continue to take mock exams until you are getting high scores and you feel comfortable with your outcomes.

Mock exams are a great way for medical students to prepare for their licensing exams, which are some of the most rigorous exams in the world. Taking high-quality tests regularly is a great way to measure your knowledge, learn new content, improve your memory, and even familiarize you with the exam that you will see on the big day.

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