Mock tests are to online courses what icings are to cakes; they just make your course’s experience a whole lot better. Mock tests instill a certain level of confidence in your students that their learnings from your course have prepared them for an official evaluation or real-life situations.
If utilized properly, mock tests can serve as good marketing collateral too. But you can’t rush into creating mock tests just for the sake of it. It has to be given due attention to be effective.
In this post, we are going to look into some of the key strategies that you should adopt while creating the mock tests for your students. Read on.
Questions you need to ask yourself before creating a mock test
Before you go about creating mock tests for your courses, there are a few things you need to ask yourself. This will help you create tests that are relevant and not something that’s one-size-fits-all. Here are they –
What is the purpose of these tests?
Why should a specific mock test be taken, and in what ways it will help your students?. A mock test should help you understand where your students are struggling and if they are learning from your course. The following are the usual reasons why a mock test is usually created as part of an online course.
- To practice effective revision strategies
- To improve knowledge
- To practice under exam conditions
- To identify topics that need attention.
Who is the target audience?
You have to adjust your mock tests depending on your target audience. Make tests challenging but not too challenging because if the students fail, it will take a toll on their confidence, which you certainly don’t want. While creating the tests, keep in mind every different type of audience who might attempt your tests. Once they’ve completed the test, they should not feel that it was a waste of time and effort. They should get the benefit they were expecting. Also, use simple natural language in your tests. Using too many jargons might backfire.
What all should be included in the tests?
The beauty of online tests is that it lets you flex your creative muscles and use more than the standard text and images format. You can add a variety of other content formats to make mock tests interesting so that users actually finish it. Creatively use video, audio, puzzles, and others to achieve your goal.
What results can be collected?
Just creating and having users take mock tests is not enough. There should be something in it for you, the course owner. A mock test is a great way to collect primary data from the users in the form of test results. The following are the types of results that can be collected.
- Individual results: to check each user’s individual progress.
- Question statistics: to identify problematic areas your students are having trouble with.
- Group results: to find out the results of users belonging to a group.
What a successful mock test looks like?
The success of a mock test is defined by the extent to which it has helped both you and your students achieve your objectives. For your students, it will be how close the mock test could represent the complexity and other features of the actual test. For you, the objectives might be at multiple levels, including assessing the effectiveness of your course.
Let’s have a quick glance at some of the most important traits of a mock test that determines whether it is successful or not.
It aligns with everyone’s objectives
A mock test should align with the learning objectives that you and your students want to achieve. For example, if your students intend to use your mock test to get a taste of the actual exam, you have to make sure that your mock test is as close to the original as possible. It should follow the same format, have the same number of questions, etc.
It has the right level of difficulty
Even the difficulty levels of your mock tests have to mimic the actual exam to a great extent. They should not be too hard that students lose their confidence nor too easy that they become overconfident. If possible, try to get questions from previous real exams to create your mock tests.
It has a fun factor
Mock tests don’t always have to be boring. You can spice it up by using interactive features and media to keep users glued to it. For example, you can convert a multiple choice quiz into an interactive experience by creating a video where animated characters ask each other questions, and users can “drag and drop” the right answers.
You are able to give feedback
After taking a mock test, your students will expect to know their shortcomings and how they can improve them. Your job is to meet this expectation by means of honest feedback. Break your feedback down into sections like critical thinking, data interpretation skills, etc. and give individual feedback for each student. It is also a best practice to add a link to the sections of the course you want them to take a relook.
It is reliable in terms of content
Before taking a mock test to live, you have to make sure it’s reliable. Consult with a few subject matter experts who will point out any inconsistencies and mistakes. Another way is to beta launch the test to a limited pool of students and get their feedback.
It helps you to identify learning difficulties
A careful analysis of the mock test results should help you identify possible learning difficulties and challenges your students are facing. This will help you refine your course.
Strategies to create effective mock tests
- Create mock tests in formats suitable for each course. If you want students to recall some facts and figures, a simple multiple-choice of fill-in-the-blank exam will work best.
- If your course is considerably long, placing the only mock test at the very end is not a best practice as it can overwhelm your students. Instead, place bite-sized quizzes at the end of each chapter. You can still have the larger mock test at the end. The advantage of this approach is that students would have been already prepped by taking the mini-tests.
- Combine different exam formats to keep the mock tests interesting.
- Set randomization rules for questions pools so that one student gets a different set of questions from another student.
- The only way to ensure that your mock tests keep evolving and improving is through consistent reporting, reviewing, and experimenting. Use your LMS to its full potential, get detailed reports on who’s passed, failed, and look for patterns.
Advanced Features offered by Learnyst to help you build your mock test
Learnyst is a new-age Learning Management System that is flexible, scalable, and able to support multiple content formats to support different learning objectives. With the following features, Learnyst makes mock tests easier to create and interesting to users –
- Learnyst hosts a set of pre-built quiz templates for many competitive exams, including CAT, IIT-JEE, UPSC, etc.
- Learnyst supports Latex which is a document preparation system that is used to typeset documents that have plenty of mathematical equations. This is quite handy if you are a math tutor and you wish to create a mock test with plenty of equations and expressions. (To know more about Latex, check out our blog here.)
- Text is not the only content you can use for your mock tests. With Learnyst, you have the flexibility to make your mock tests interactive using images as well.
- Different questions formats are also included over the standard text and MCQ, including essays and fill-in-the-blanks.
Now that you have seen the best practices of creating a mock test, it is time to put it into action. Get started with Learnyst today and create interactive and effective mock tests in minutes. Sign up to know more.
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