When you’re going through your study plan, you may notice that your practice sessions will include problems on concepts that you haven’t learned or reviewed in the lesson videos! Though this may be jarring, don’t be discouraged. :) Keep in mind that these study schedules are not set in stone, and you can modify your practice sessions for how you learn best as a student. :)
Read below for more information on how you can make the most out of your prep with Magoosh.
If you'd like to skip directly to a section, feel free to use these links here:
- Custom Practice & Practicing All Subjects
- Learning from Mistakes
- Watching Lesson Videos
- Practice, Practice, Practice
Custom Practice & Practicing All Subjects
If you just finished lessons on a topic, and you’d like to practice it, you can select that topic in Custom Practice! For example, if you just watched Algebra lessons, select Algebra under the “Subjects” category. This type of specific practice can be extremely useful when you’re stuck on a certain topic or type of question. That’s why we’ve included different subject and question type options on Custom Practice.
However, we recommend a broader approach to studying in our study schedules because it’s an excellent way to learn and improve. Allow me to explain more. :)
We have built Magoosh and crafted our study plans to help students learn in many different ways and about topics in many different areas. There are two main reasons for practicing many different topics in one session:
- It helps students get a better sense of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as what to focus on. :)
- Making mistakes (and learning from them!) is important for learning.
By encountering challenging concepts, you are stretching what you know and priming your mind to learn a new concept. When you finally arrive at those lesson videos, you will remember the problems that you worked on before and see new ways to approach and reach a solution.
Therefore, when you set up your Custom Practice session, we encourage you to leave all of the “Subjects” checked and to set the Difficulty to “Adaptive.” You can read more about our philosophy here:
With all that said, we know that some students can benefit from a little bit of targeted practice, too. So make sure to do plenty of mixed practice to challenge yourself and identify weak areas you may not be aware of, but then, do topic-specific practice to focus in on these weak areas. Sometimes students might forget to do mixed practice and end up missing a skill or two, so make sure to use both approaches throughout your practice.
If you have any questions about a specific problem or a specific question type, we’d be happy to help. :) Just let us know!
Learning from Mistakes
For all of your practice, you should watch the explanation videos for every question you get wrong (and even for some of the ones you get right, especially if you felt like you were guessing!) and really analyze the questions. Ask yourself:
- Why you missed the question?
- Why your answer is wrong?
- Why the correct answer is correct?
- What will you do to avoid this next time around?
We recommend keeping a notebook, or “error log”, to keep track of these questions. :) You can read more about how to do that here:
Review your error log frequently. When you’re reviewing, make it your goal to understand inside-out every single practice question, so that if you see that same question in the future, you know that you will nail it. In fact, if you review a question one day, it's good to go back to it four to five days later to see if you still understand it.
Watching Lesson Videos
Occasionally, you may encounter questions that you have absolutely no idea how to answer. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this. :)
In addition to watching each and every explanation video, consider watching related lesson videos for practice problems that you missed or felt lost on, even if you haven’t gotten to it on the study plan yet. The related lesson videos will discuss the basic concepts that are important for solving particular practice problems. They’ll often include tips, strategies, and shortcuts too! :D With that said, don’t feel the need to watch all of the related lesson videos on the spot. By following the study plan, you’ll get to those lesson videos eventually!
When watching lesson videos while following the study plan, make sure to watch the entire video. Concepts covered in the lesson videos often provide the basic foundation for more complex questions that you’ll see on the exam, so you want to give yourself the opportunity to learn as much as possible.
The lesson videos are also an excellent resource if you’re still uncomfortable with concepts after many weeks of studying, or for a quick review. In addition, our blog has additional practice problems and tips as well.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Improvement takes practice. :) Though it may be the case for a small number of students, it’s often impossible to see improvement from just a few practice questions.
Therefore, it’s important to go through all of the practice problems on Magoosh if possible. In fact, the students who go through the practice problems multiple times often increase their scores more than students who only answer the questions once!
It’s important to note that completing all of the practice problems is only one piece of the puzzle. We can’t emphasize enough how essential learning from your mistakes, watching explanation and lesson videos, and keeping an error log is during your exam prep.
We hope that this gives you some insight on how to make the most out of your studying with Magoosh. :)