When you begin your firefighter promotional exam prep, be sure to check out online practice tests as a study method for yourself. Online practice tests are beneficial because they are a form of retrieval practice which is one of the most effective ways to study for any exam.
What is Retrieval Practice?
Retrieval practice is, “the strategy of recalling facts, concepts, or events from memory in order to enhance learning.” Basically instead of just stuffing your brain with information you are dumping the information out of your head.
Why Retrieval Practice Works
Retrieval practice works because of the simple fact that it mimics the exam. When it comes time to take your firefighter promotional exam you will need to recall information. Reading your textbooks and study guides over and over may help you remember some of the information needed to pass your firefighter promotional exam, but not all of it. This is because just reading the information doesn’t involve any of the “cognitive processes” that your exam will require, but practice tests do. Retrieving the information from your brain makes the connections between your brain and that information stronger, making said information easier to recall come test day. If you just absorb and visualize the information, the brain connections will not be as strong come test day, making the exam seem much harder.
When to Start Retrieval Practice
Once you have read your textbooks and reviewed your notes, you are ready for some retrieval practice. Do not wait until you think you are an expert on the information to begin retrieval practice or you will not get the full benefits of it. When you begin your retrieval practice, put your books and notes away, just like you would come exam day, and begin taking online practice tests. This will give you a chance to determine what information you know and what you do not. Once you finish the practice tests, go back and review the information that you need to work on and once complete, go back and take more practice tests. The more you struggle to remember the information as you take your practice tests, the better the end results will be; you will remember the information for a longer period of time and ultimately recall it faster come test day if you use practice tests.
Other forms of retrieval practice include:
Brain dumps: writing everything you know about a topic
Make your own practice tests/questions
Quiz members of your study group and vice versa
Answer the questions in your textbooks
When you are studying for your firefighter promotional exam, don’t just read your books, notes, and study guides. You must also test yourself and use retrieval practice to get the highest score possible on your firefighter promotional exam and get promoted in the fire service. Online practice tests are one of the easiest ways to get your retrieval practice in and ace your exam.