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.


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.