Preparing for the Test & Practice Tests
Psychometric Practice Tests
After each test administration date, one of the Hebrew test forms from that administration is published on this page. Test forms in other languages are published once or twice a year.
Psychometric Practice Tests in other languages
The importance of preparing for the test
The Psychometric Entrance Test measures abilities that are relevant to success in academic studies. These abilities develop over time, gradually and in different ways: studies at school, reading, pursuing hobbies and being active in fields of interest all contribute to verbal and quantitative abilities and proficiency in English. So for the most part, the test measures the abilities that you have already acquired during elementary school and high school and through the different experiences of your life.
As a rule, people do better in any test when they come to it prepared – that is, when they know the test date in advance, are familiar with the format of the test, take the time and trouble to go over the material being tested and take practice tests. The best preparation is gradual work over many years, but as with any other test, concentrated practice before the Psychometric Entrance Test is likely to improve your result. In areas where proficiency develops slowly, such as English vocabulary, a short period of practice is unlikely to be significantly useful, but in other areas it can definitely help.
Preparation tends to assist an examinee because the Psychometric test tests the optimum level of performance, not the typical level. For example, if you were asked to run a kilometer right now, you would probably succeed in doing so, but your time would probably not be the best time that you are capable of. On the other hand, if you were asked to do the run in two weeks’ time, and prepared for it during those two weeks, you would probably clock up a better time than you would if you hadn’t prepared. The same is true here: preparing before the test allows examinees to perform to the best of their ability.
Preparing for the test has another benefit: it prepares candidates, most of whom have not been in an educational framework for some years before the test, for the challenges they will face as students in the higher education system. Preparation reinforces the candidates’ basic academic abilities (verbal ability, quantitative ability, knowledge of English) and assists them in acquiring learning habits, managing their time, and handling test conditions. These are all important for students’ success in studying toward a first degree.
Methods of preparing for the test
There are three principal methods of preparing for the test: independent study, structured study in the form of psychometric preparation courses at an independent institute or with a private tutor), and structured private study through an online course. These methods differ from one another chiefly in the students’ degree of independence and in the extent of guidance that they receive, but they all require a large amount of independent study.
If you choose independent study, you will have to construct a study program for yourself that fits into the time you have allocated for study, to ensure that you have covered all the material on the test and to find your own solutions to difficulties and uncertainties arising during the course of study. Independent study is cheaper and more efficient than taking a course.
Preparatory courses at independent institutes are usually expensive. They provide a group study framework and, as a rule, systematically cover all the material on the test. In addition, the teachers can guide you and help you overcome difficulties arising during the course. It’s important to note that preparation in the courses is based on a comprehensive review of the subject areas, not on learning “tricks”. Private institutes that prepare students for the test sometimes make the mistake of claiming that they have magic formulas for success on the test, but the test developers know about these formulas and take them into account. There is really no way to answer the Psychometric Entrance Test questions without possessing the abilities that the test assesses.
Another method of structured preparation is studying with a private tutor. This method is suitable for someone who needs instruction but feels uncomfortable in a classroom setting. With this method, the nature and pace of study are adapted to the student’s personal needs, but it is liable to be an expensive process.
If you choose to study via an online course, you will effectively be combining the advantages of the other two methods. You will be free to set the pace of study according to your own abilities without depending on the needs of a class, while at the same time the online course includes all the required material in a clear and well-organized fashion that provides students with a convenient study framework.
Since January 2019, an online preparatory course for the Psychometric Entrance Test has been available through a digital learning initiative from the Ministry for Social Equality. The course was developed with the assistance and support of the National Institute for Testing and Evaluation and is available to all, free of charge.
See further details of the online course
Choosing a preparation method depends on many factors. If you have a firm grasp of the material required for the test, you will need a shorter preparation period than if you have not dealt with such material for many years. Naturally your personal preferences, the time at your disposal and the resources you are willing to invest in preparation all have an influence on which method is appropriate for you. First of all, you should define why you are taking the test. A candidate for medical school, with its high admissions requirements, should not take the test unprepared, but there is no need for someone planning to study in a program with lower admissions requirements to spend many months and large sums of money preparing for the test.
One way or the other, if you prepare for the test, your score will be higher than if you take it unprepared, and the degree of improvement in your score depends above all on your own dedication and commitment. In any case, we recommend not taking the test completely unprepared. Even a short period of preparation - including familiarizing yourself with the types of questions on the test, a short refresher of the topics it includes and taking one practice test - is likely to make a significant improvement in your score.
Preparing for the Test & Practice Tests
How do preparatory programs contribute to improvement in test scores?
More than 80% of Psychometric test examinees report that they took a preparatory course before the test. There is no easy way to assess the benefit of taking such a course as opposed to preparing for the test on one’s own, but results show that the benefit of preparatory courses for examinees who took the test more than once is only slightly greater than the benefit of independent preparatory study – about 15 points (report 405). These results are similar to those of previously published research on the Psychometric Entrance Test (report 232, report 218) and also to results published in international studies (for example on the SAT, the American equivalent of the Psychometric Entrance Test).
It should be noted that it’s impossible to draw decisive conclusions from these studies as to the best way to prepare for the test. Nevertheless, they may indicate how much a course can contribute relative to independent study and help candidates reach a decision regarding whether to invest large sums of money in preparation or make do with less expensive private study.
Mental preparation (reducing anxiety)
Almost everybody who takes a test the result of which will have a significant effect on their life feels some degree of tension. This phenomenon is not necessarily a problem. Research has shown that a moderate level of tension actually increases one’s ability to concentrate when preparing for the test, as well as during the test itself. However, for some people the level of tension is too high: they feel genuine anxiety before tests, and this interferes with their ability to prepare for and take any test. This phenomenon, known as “test anxiety” can have physical manifestations, including stomachache, headaches, nausea, sweating, shortness of breath, diarrhea and racing pulse. It may have emotional manifestations, such as fear of failing the test, strong worries about the consequences of failing, or fear of disappointing others (parents, friends, etc.). These concerns may result in an inability to function. Test anxiety may also manifest itself in poor cognitive functioning, such as difficulty in understanding the requirements of the test, difficulty in demonstrating one's knowledge and ability, forgetfulness, confusion, failure to concentrate and blackout. In addition, test anxiety may be a self-fulfilling prophecy: worrying about not being able to function during the test creates anxiety, which in turn increases the chances of dysfunction.
Test anxiety is much more widespread than is commonly believed. Some people who experience it think they are the only ones who suffer from such anxiety and are thus embarrassed to share their feelings with those around them. However, sharing such feelings can be a very helpful way of dealing with them and also reducing worry about others' negative reactions. Moreover, today there are many good methods for handling test anxiety. Experts in the field suggest a range of techniques for relaxation before and during tests, including breathing exercises, guided imagery and more. In some cases, when these techniques are not sufficient and a candidate suffers from severe anxiety, it may be worth seeking additional professional help. Specialists help those who suffer from test anxiety to identify and neutralize the causes of the anxiety and to relate realistically to the test by seeing it as a task to be dealt with, not a dangerous enemy. This can help limit the negative physical and psychological reactions that interfere with preparing for and taking the test, and may even remove them altogether.
General recommendations on preparing for the test
These recommendations are intended to provide you with general principles that are suitable in most cases. They are recommendations, not rules, and you are not obliged to follow them.
Set a target score – it is worth determining what score you need for admission to the program in which you want to study. This will enable you to set a target and decide how much you want to invest in preparation.
Familiarize yourself with the test – it is advisable to become familiar with the format of the test, the types of questions it contains and the instructions for examinees. This will reduce your anxiety and enable you to take the test without unnecessary delays.
Obtain study material – you can buy study and practice material for the Psychometric Entrance Test or obtain it from friends. NITE guarantees the quality of the study material that it develops (samples and explanations of test questions; Compumetry), but cannot guarantee the quality of commercial preparatory material available for sale. It should be noted that not all material available is of equal quality. Each instruction manual stresses different types of question and different techniques for solving them, so it is worth using a variety of instructional materials.
Study conditions – you should prepare a quiet, comfortable study area far away from distractions such as computers and telephones. Make sure to study when you are relaxed, well fed, and rested. When practicing solving a section or a complete test, try to do so in conditions as similar as possible to the conditions of the test itself.
Group support – if you don’t like to study alone, try to find friends you enjoy studying with. It’s a good idea to tell people in your immediate environment (friends, family) that you are in the middle of preparing for the test, and get their much-needed support, such as encouragement or help with studying. You can also get support from internet forums dealing with preparation for the test.
Preparing for the Test & Practice Tests
General instructions for independent study
Identifying your starting point –the day when you begin your preparatory study, is when you are least well prepared for the test. This is a great opportunity to take a complete practice test, or at least one section in each domain - see practice tests. At this stage, you can take a test without a time limit, since your objective is to identify your strengths and weaknesses and get to know the general nature of the test and what kind of questions appear in it.
Constructing a study plan for the test – it’s important to take the time to construct an organized study plan. The plan should detail the study objectives for each week and ensure that you can cover all the required material in the time available. When constructing the plan, allocate longer time periods to the material you expect to find difficult, and make sure to include time during each week for reviewing the material studied earlier. You should construct the plan so that you complete all the material about two weeks before the test itself, in order to leave yourself time to practice complete tests. You should construct the plan as early as possible, so as not to be pressured for time. On the other hand, it’s important to remember that the extent of preparation required depends on the target you set for yourself, your previous knowledge, your rate of study and your personal circumstances during the study period. This means that there is no ideal study period for preparing for the test – the number of hours varies from one person to another.
Rest – it’s better not to study all day every day, but to take time off here and there. However, it is not recommended that you take very long breaks. It is also recommended that you not study at all on the day before the test, so that you come to the test as fresh and relaxed as possible.
Study and practice – when beginning to study a new topic, it’s a good idea to read the theoretical material on the NITE website - see examples and explanations of the test questions - or in a study book for the test, and ensure that it is clear and well understood. Afterward, you can start practicing taking tests on the topic. You should start by taking tests without a time limit, and later gradually allocate more and more time for practicing under test conditions, with a time limit. It’s important to check whether you answered the questions correctly. If you made mistakes, try to understand why that happened and how to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Checking your performance on practice tests is an important stage in studying, and you are advised not to skip it.
Test aids – many examinees use a stopwatch to divide up the time for solving questions on the test. You should practice how to operate the stopwatch in advance, to avoid wasting time during the test itself.
Stress and anxiety – if you anticipate that test anxiety on the day of the test will interfere with your abilities, you should practice relaxation and stress-relief techniques and employ them during the test.
Guidelines for preparatory study for English
Familiarity and practice – the best way to prepare for the English sections is to become well acquainted with the types of questions that appear on the test, and practice them as much as possible.
Exposure – the more you are exposed to the English language, the better you will be prepared for this part of the test. You should expose yourself to English by reading books, newspapers and websites in English. The more English you read before the test, the more your reading speed will increase, and so you will need to spend less time reading the texts and questions during the test.
Constant practice – you should practice using English whenever you can. Try to hold conversations in English, think in English, and translate things that you hear and read into English.
Word lists – you should make up a list of new words that you come across while preparing for the test. Add words to the list every day, and make sure to review the words you already added. It’s a good idea to incorporate words into sentences in order to remember their meaning better. However, it’s not worth spending too much time going over word lists.
Preparing for the Test & Practice Tests
Guidelines for preparatory study in verbal reasoning
Familiarity and practice – the best way to prepare for the verbal reasoning sections is to become well acquainted with the types of questions and assignments on the test and practice them as much as possible.
Vocabulary – the goal of the Psychometric Entrance Test is not to measure ability to memorize words. Nevertheless, success in the verbal reasoning domain requires knowledge of Hebrew and comprehension of Hebrew texts. The current format of the test doesn’t include “Words and Expressions” questions. However, you will need to understand words and expressions in context when they appear in reading and inference questions and in text comprehension questions. A lot of preparatory study material includes long lists of hard words, but we recommend not devoting too much time to going over word lists. Your preparation time is better spent on practicing questions from the test. If you come across unfamiliar words while preparing, take the opportunity to learn them.
Writing task – writing ability, like other abilities measured by the test, is developed gradually over the years in a number of different ways, such as study at school, reading and writing experience. So most of your preparation for the test has already taken place in elementary school and high school and through life experience. Although the best preparation is gradual work over many years, concentrated practice before the test is likely to improve your performance on the test. So it’s worth getting to know the instructions for the writing task, and it's also good, of course, to perform the practice tasks and carefully read the evaluation principles provided with them.
At the attached link, you can find a detailed explanation, including instructions and advice on the writing task and information on how it is evaluated - see samples and explanations of test questions – writing task. You can find a partial list of tasks from previous tests here. It’s also advisable to read opinion pieces in newspapers and analyze how they construct their arguments.
You should practice doing writing tasks within the allocated time limit. The recommended stages in writing an essay are: understanding the topic, building a conceptual framework, writing, and editing. Write the essay in clear language, following the framework and content that you developed. Remember to edit the text you wrote and check that the text you wrote fits into the required number of lines.
After you finish, read the essay again and ask whether you would have written it differently, and if so, how. Now try to write the essay again. Check the differences between your first and second attempts, and try to draw conclusions before the next practice task.
Guidelines for preparatory study for quantitative reasoning
Familiarity and practice – in the quantitative reasoning sections also, the best way to prepare is to become well acquainted with the types of questions on the test and practice them as much as possible.
Review – begin by reviewing basic algebra and basic geometry. This link lists all the topics you need to know for the quantitative reasoning test. It is recommended that you become familiar with formulas and mathematical tools that can help you answer the questions faster, such as multiplication and power tables, multiplication short cuts and Pythagorean triples. It’s also important to know terms connected to algebra and geometry, such as names of polygons. A full list of all these terms appears at this link.
Taking a complete practice test (simulation)
Preparation – it’s advisable to have on hand a sufficient number of tests with their solutions. A large stock of such tests is available on the NITE website. It’s important to begin taking complete practice tests some time before the test.
Practice – you should practice taking complete tests during the last two weeks before the test. Don’t take more than one test per day. Each day, take one test, take a break and then check your results. Try to practice the test under conditions as close as possible to those of the actual test. If possible, sit in a chair with an armrest and use a stopwatch. You need to keep to the allocated times; even if you finish a section before the end the time allocated for it, you should not proceed to a new section. If you do have spare time at the end of a section, you should go back over questions whose answers you were unsure of. If you don’t manage to answer all the questions in a section, guess the answers to the ones you didn't know, and make a note to return to them at the end of the practice test and check the correct answers.
Analyzing your performance – compare your answer sheet to the answer key and mark all your incorrect answers. Go back over the questions you got wrong and try to understand your mistakes and the correct answers. Check whether your mistakes were because of lack of attention or some point that you misunderstood. If the latter is the case, it’s recommended that you go over the topic and practice more questions on it. Also, return to the questions where you guessed the answers. You should try to remember how you managed your time during the test and think whether you can improve that. From every practice session and analysis you do, you should learn important lessons which you should try to implement in later practice sessions.