One of the benefits of PrepareToTest over other FAA test prep sites are the comprehensive statistics and reports that are available for you to review, and that can be used to accelerate your studying. This post covers how this works and how it can be used to your advantage.
What information is stored?
Every time you take an exam just about every thing is saved into the database. This includes such information as:
- Exam Date
- Start time, finish time
- Overall score
- The chapters you selected, the questions in each chapter
- The results for each individual question, including your answer selection for each question.
How can this be used?
When you grade an individual exam you will see an overall grade for the whole test along with the results for each question. At the bottom of each graded exam is a list of any questions that you got wrong along with a link to a Printable Results page.
By using this link you can get a more detailed Summary Results report of each exam detailing the questions you answered correctly and, perhaps more importantly, the questions you got wrong. This is very similar to the results sheet you will get when you take the real exam and is shown below. This format is great for printing out for your instructor as it gives them all the information they need about your practice exam and clearly shows them the areas in which you may need a bit more work. Once you This is also what your instructor will want to see in order to sign you off to take the actual knowledge test.
By selecting [SHOW STATS] at the top of the summary page you can also see more detailed information on each incorrect question – the question itself and your answer history for this question (See below). If you keep getting a question wrong then this indicates you need to do a bit more work understanding the theory behind the question. Looking at the incorrect answers you have selected in the past will help identify where your misunderstanding might be.
Cumulative Exam Stats
As you take more exams, you build up a history of your recent exams. This can be seen on the Exam Statistics page which can be reached by clicking on the mini bar chart on the left of your exams in the My Exams section of the Members home page:
The Exam Statistics page has two main components – the question pool coverage graph and the summary results of your last five exams.
- The Question Pool coverage graph is a bar chart showing the number of questions in each topic area, or chapter, of the exam. The height of the bars indicates the number of questions in that chapter, the orange bar indicates the number of questions you see in that chapter. Once the orange bar reaches the top you have seen each question in that chapter at least once.
- The Summary Results Table shows the summary results from your last five exams. This is helpful to see what you did in previous sessions so you can decide what to practice for your next exam. Each exam date at the top of the table links to the exam Summary Report (as shown above), the Chapter link on the left side of the table links to a detailed list of questions for that chapter (described in more detail below).
The Chapter links take you to the Chapter Question List which list, perhaps not surprisingly, all the questions in that chapter! This is handy so you can review all the questions that are included in a specific chapter.
Questions you haven’t practiced are colored purple so you can spot them easily. For each question you have taken you can see the question plus a graphical result history which shows you how you did the last five times you took this question.
Why is this result history useful?
The results history is a very powerful feature. Over time as you practice the questions you will find there are some you just get right each time and you dont want to keep seeing them so you need a way to stop them appearing in your practice exams. Similarly there are questions you are a bit less certain of and you can get wrong every once in a while, these are questions you want to work on. The results history tracks your last five results so when you create a new practice exam you can do things like create an exam of 10 random questions but ‘leaving out questions that you got right the last 2 times. This will allow you to practice only the questions you’re getting wrong, it wont show you the ones you’ve been getting right.
Hopefully this illustrates some of the features of the results tracking available on PrepareToTest. I am always open to suggestions on ways to improve the reports, statistics and other features so please feel free to use the comments below to ask for more explanation or suggest improvements. I will try and put together a quick screen cast that shows how these tools can be used in practice on PrepareToTest and I think that will help show how things fit together.