Bootcamp Mastery: Do As Many Tests As You Can

This article is part of a series about getting the most value out of an immersive programming bootcamp after I attended Fullstack Academy in NYC. See my stories for more!

One of the great things about Fullstack is that they provide you with many excellent pre-made tests and workshops. Most of these use test-driven development (TDD). In other words, they display a series of tests that suggest functionality in your program. You have to write the code that makes those tests pass.

When you’re gearing up for your Senior Checkpoint these tests are worth their weight in gold.

During the weeks we had to prepare for our final exam, I did each test three times. I spaced them out, so that each test was re-taken a few days apart. This helped me honestly gauge how well I was remembering things, and to space out my practice.

Don’t watch YouTube videos as your primary way of studying for the test. Do these tests instead.

There are three big benefits to this approach.

First, I was able to quickly see where I struggled. The same areas on the exam would give me trouble each time, which helped me prioritize how I spent the rest of my study time.

Second, I started to see how much I could actually do from memory. How often did I need to check the docs? How often did I encounter an error that I didn’t recognize?

Third, the final was much harder than any of these tests. So by getting all of the ideas in these tests down pat, it was easier to make the stretch on the much harder final exam. I didn’t get bogged down in the simple things and could put full brain power on the tough stuff.

In general, tests are a powerful way to learn to check your understanding. Don’t avoid them!

Take your practice tests. Do them several times. You’ll thank yourself later!

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