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4 Smart, Responsible Ways to Incorporate AI and ChatGPT in Test Prep

While it's frowned upon to use AI to do your homework for you, there are many ways to use it to supplement your studies and maximize test prep. Here's how!

Regardless of your age or field of study, excelling as a student requires considerable time and energy—especially when it comes to test prep. Course content must be reviewed to ensure it’s fully understood and easily recalled. There’s a wide variety of tools available to help with exam prep, including time management programs, sample tests to familiarize yourself with the test format, and courses that present content and strategy relevant to the upcoming exam. But today’s students can also enhance their test prep by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence. From providing personalized flashcards to serving as a virtual tutor, AI offers a host of resources to better prepare for exams. Here are a few resourceful ways you can incorporate AI into your study sessions.

1. Generate sample questions

Sample questions are a critical component of test prep because they allow you to become familiar with an exam’s content and format, which can help reduce anxiety on test day. You’ll also get a feel for the concepts the exam will focus on and identify knowledge gaps that could impact your performance. You can use AI-driven tools to generate sample exam questions! Natural language processing (NLP) models can analyze study materials to develop an understanding of the topics then generate questions on those topics within the exam’s format and level of difficulty.

For example, if you use OpenAI’s NLP tool, ChatGPT, to prepare sample exam questions on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it produces results such as:

  • “In Romeo and Juliet, what role does fate play in the tragic events that unfold? Provide examples from the play to support your answer.”
  • “Analyze the character development of Juliet throughout the play. How does she evolve from an obedient daughter to a strong-willed young woman?”
  • “Explore the motif of light and darkness in Romeo and Juliet. How is this imagery used to convey the themes of love, fate, and conflict?”

ChatGPT can also be used to develop multiple-choice questions. When asked to provide a multiple-choice question for a final exam in first-year college chemistry, ChatGPT responded with: “Which of the following elements has the highest electronegativity value? A) Carbon; B) Oxygen; C) Fluorine; D) Nitrogen.”

When provided with sample test questions from another source, generative AI programs like ChatGPT can be trained to prepare additional questions in the same format. Adaptive learning platforms also select sample questions in a personalized way that can further enhance your studying by tracking your progress to identify strengths and weaknesses, then providing questions focused on the areas you’re struggling in. By shifting the focus of exam prep in this way, adaptive learning platforms increase both impact and efficiency.

2. Engage with AI-driven tutors

The most advanced adaptive learning platforms provide students with AI-powered tutor bots that go beyond grading responses to evaluate the depth of a student’s learning. Announced in March 2023, Quizlet’s Q-Chat platform uses AI to assess students’ conceptual understanding rather than simply informing students if they’ve provided a correct answer. Q-Chat is the first fully adaptive tutor bot to leverage ChatGPT.

Tutor bots can be especially helpful for language exams since these platforms listen to a student’s speech and use AI to evaluate it. They can score and guide students on pronunciation, vocabulary, clarity of speech, and overall accuracy. Duolingo is an example of a platform that uses AI to help students master languages. Its chatbot serves as a conversation partner to help you learn vocabulary as well as language rules. Duolingo also leverages AI to track progress and personalize practice sessions based on the user's level of proficiency and progress.

Related: A New Learning Ethos: What Does the Future of AI Look Like for Education?

3. Create content summaries

Content summaries can be extremely helpful for students, allowing you to quickly identify key topics and assess your knowledge. Summaries also break down course material into blocks of information that are less intimidating to review and internalize. Once a simple content summary is prepared, you can improve recall and retention by fleshing out the summary from memory. Just cut and paste your notes into a ChatGPT prompt requesting a content summary. The amount of information provided in the summary can be fine-tuned by requesting a “basic summary,” “detailed summary,” or “one-page summary.” If the response reveals you need to focus on certain content, you can ask it to expand on a specific topic to include more information from your notes.

4. Get help with practice essays

Essays are often a component of exams, especially in college, and writing practice essays on key topics from the course material is a common way to prepare. AI can be used in a number of ways to assist with essay-question practice—though it should never be used to write your actual assignments for you. But you can use ChatGPT to generate essay outlines on virtually any topic to give you a head start on writing by identifying the key components you should consider. You can even generate outlines based on your own notes. After you’ve written some practice essays, AI platforms can critique them too. ChatGPT can provide feedback on an essay’s structure and organization, transition and cohesion, language and style, and the way in which your ideas were developed. Just copy and paste your essay, then ask it to analyze it for you based on what you’ll be graded on.

Related: Should I Use ChatGPT to Help Me During the College Admission Process?

While AI can play a great role in supporting test prep, you shouldn’t rely on it as your only tool. AI platforms are not infallible, and many struggle with providing reliable content on current events and developments. Students who want to get the most out of their test prep should heed this warning that ChatGPT provided when asked how AI can assist with studying:

“The role of AI is to supplement and enhance the learning experience, providing additional resources and opportunities for practice. It should be used in conjunction with other exam preparation techniques, such as content review, active learning, and practice with authentic exam materials.”

Supplement your AI test prep with additional resources in Our Best Advice for Homework, Studying, and Tests!

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About Joseph Wilson

Joseph Wilson is the Cofounder of Studicata, a leading online educational preparatory platform for law school finals and the bar exam. Using the “explain it to me like I’m a kid” approach, Studicata strays away from traditional, convoluted legal prep courses by educating students in a streamlined, foolproof way. The platform has helped more than 100,000 students with millions of video lecture minutes watched. Check them out on YouTube!


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