Students begin their test preparation by taking a full-length diagnostic exam under test conditions—i.e., timed by a proctor in a classroom setting. From the student’s perspective, the diagnostic test is a chance to experience firsthand the scope, duration, and format of the official test. From our perspective, the diagnostic results help the program consultant and the tutor plan an overall approach to preparation with the most appropriate structure, order, length, and breadth. Based on the results of that test and many other factors, an individualized program is designed to meet the student's particular needs.
Results from a diagnostic test can provide students with concrete data to set realistic goals and to help determine the appropriateness of pursuing a particular test. As an initial guideline that assesses the test-taker's relative strengths and weaknesses, the diagnostic test also provides tutors with specific detail about the student’s familiarity with and understanding of the relevant material.