By Joey, IvyWise Master Tutor
SAT Subject Test season is here again! Whether it’s Math I, Japanese, Biology, or something entirely different, the reality is the same: every exam requires test prep. If you’re looking to spice up hours of textbook drills and flashcards, consider adding some creativity to your study habits through gamification.
Some students might be skeptical, but study resources derived from theories of gaming can supercharge your exam prep in ways workbooks simply can’t match. In fact, the ‘gamification’ of learning has been underway for a while now, yielding excellent, readily accessible resources for those willing to give it a try. In fact, a study by the World Government Summit cited that a game called Math Land improved performance on standardized testing by as much as 22% when introduced to secondary school students.
Students who are preparing for SAT Subject Tests can give gamification a trial run by experimenting with quizlets, rewards systems, and designing their own bespoke options. Below are some creative ideas for students looking to gamify their test preparation in advance of the SAT Subject tests.
Quizlets are an easy way to develop dynamic sets of flashcards that are compelling and more enjoyable to review. In addition to simply compiling flashcards, Quizlet offers students the chance to put their knowledge to the test with games like Gravity, where your task is straightforward but increasingly challenging. Gamers must protect the planets from incoming asteroids, which can only be achieved by answering key questions. The time pressure of falling asteroids threatening (comic) destruction can be a fantastic way to prepare yourself mentally for the stresses of a timed Subject Test exam. Learning how to stay calm and work well under pressure is a skill that is important for any exam and something the can easily be developed through gamification.
Khan Academy is a well-known source, but many students may be unaware of just how much gamification drives its engine. After making an account, you’re set to earn Energy Points and Badges from completing review work that you can then use to level up your avatar and more. The appeal of badges and leaderboards is universal – everyone wants to see their score improve and gain recognition for their accomplishments. Consequently, this sort of simple but compelling loop can keep you grinding forward through your course content for hours. While achieving a high score on an SAT Subject Test may seem like a long-term aspiration, earning a new badge is a manageable way to work towards your goals.
If you struggle to build productive habits and stay committed to your study goals, Habitica may be the perfect tool for you. From its inception, the app has had schoolwork in mind. The productivity tool can help students manage their to-do lists, encourage more efficient work and study habits, and motivate users through the creation of avatars. Since Habitica is not test-specific, students who feel motivated by the app can continue to turn to it to stay on top of tasks in college and beyond.
This approach will require a bit more research on your part, but a Google search for “[your Subject Test] + games” is almost certain to turn up neat content from students and educators all over who wanted to make studying less punishing and more enjoyable. The internet is filled with study resources that every student can take advantage of – it’s up to you to do some digging and pinpoint the content that resonates most with you and relates to what you are studying. Students preparing for the SAT Physics exam may benefit from a particularly diverse pool of options, as a quick Google search reveals simulators, Jeopardy boards, and flashcards, all of which are designed to gamify their study experience. The SAT Literature exam also boasts an array of innovative content for those studying for that exam.
Design Your Own
Students who are really looking to get creative should consider making their own games that relate to the exam they are studying for. To guarantee success, aim to create a game with four key traits: a goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation. For most test takers, their goal will be clear cut (improving the skills needed to ace your exam) and participation in the game is certainly voluntary if you’re the one building it. Consequently, all you need are a few rules and, better yet, rewards! Look to any of your favorite games—from childhood, sporting events, arcades, or decks of cards—for inspiration on what makes it fun to continue pushing forward against self-selected challenges. You can even get your friends involved, and help keep one another engaged to reach peak motivation.
Preparing for standardized testing can be overwhelming, so taking a new approach to make your studying and prep more fun can help you not only look forward to your test prep, but also assist you in achieving your goal score. At IvyWise, we help students prepare for all college entrance exams, including SAT Subject Tests. Our team of expert tutors works with students to help them identify areas of improvement and create customized and effective test prep strategies to make their prep fun and engaging. For more information on IvyWise’s test preparation services, contact us today.