Part 1: Using Method Test Prep’s Scores by Concept for Focused Work

If all you do is work through the Method Test Prep system in order, as long as you are paying attention and trying to take the lessons to heart, you should see an improvement in your test scores. However, to get more sophisticated, you’ll want to get an idea of your areas of weakness and to do some focus work on those. Note that the technique outlined in this article is best done after completing a few weeks in the system, and in conjunction with (not as a replacement for) continuing to work through the system in sequence.

Every question in the Method Test Prep system is tagged with a concept (e.g. Exponents, Subject-Verb Agreement). As you work through the system, every answer you chose is tracked and recorded in order to measure your ability in these concept areas. To view your current state of mastery:

  1. Log in to the system
  2. If you have access to both ACT and SAT, choose which one you wish to view.
  3. Click on the Scores by Concept link in the blue area above the progress bar.
  4. Select a subject.

You should now see a table with various concepts in the first column, followed by information in the subsequent columns. The second column, ‘Strength’ gives you a visual indicator of strength (green) or weakness (red). The other columns indicate the numbers of problems you’ve gotten correct out of the problems you’ve answered, or how you compare to the ‘MTP Norm.’ More on that in a moment.

Every column is sortable by clicking its column heading (once for descending order, again for ascending order). Clicking on the Strength header twice to group your red circles is a quick way to see which concept areas need work. You’ll want to check the third and fourth columns, however, because a red circle for missing one out of two questions is not as meaningful as a red circle for getting 6 out of 12 questions answered right. It is the latter category you’ll want to focus on in your focus work.

Once you know one or more areas needing focused work, you can either revisit those concepts in the checklist, or:

  1. Go to the Lessons/Quizzes on the left-hand side menu.
  2. Select the subject of a concept you need to work on.
  3. In the resulting list, select the lesson or quiz associated with a concept you need to work on.

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You can also use the Quiz on Demand feature under the Lessons/Quizzes to create a random quiz for yourself based on one or more concept categories. When creating the quiz, hold down the CTRL key to select more than one concept.

And that’s about it. Use your Scores by Concept to help transform your current test kryptonite areas into areas of mastery.

Oh, and the MTP Norm I mentioned is probably better saved for another blog article, so stay tuned!