Published on October 8, 2008
Test Taking Tips : Test Taking Tips A general guide for taking examinations. By: Elizabeth Mattingly, LTCY 524 It’s test day ! Your palms are sweating, you feel like you’re suffocating, and your heart is about to beat out of your chest. You anxiously wait outside the door of your class, afraid to go inside. You know the material, but just the idea of taking a test can throw you into a panic attack. : It’s test day ! Your palms are sweating, you feel like you’re suffocating, and your heart is about to beat out of your chest. You anxiously wait outside the door of your class, afraid to go inside. You know the material, but just the idea of taking a test can throw you into a panic attack. Does this sound eerily familiar to you? : Does this sound eerily familiar to you? If so, follow these tips to prepare yourself for tests. Just by knowing the steps to take when you sit down to take a test, you will be more comfortable . Here’s the game plan… Before the Test : Before the Test Don’t procrastinate! It is best to study a little each day, rather than to try cramming all of the information in on the night before the test. Set an alarm clock and get to the test site on time. Why add more stress to yourself? If you run late, it will only increase your anxiety. Be prepared. Make sure that you have everything that you will need to take the test (pencils, pens, scantron, blue book, calculator, etc.) Eat breakfast. Wear a watch. Know how much time you have to take the test and check your watch periodically to see how much time you have left. Getting Started : Getting Started Read ALL of the directions. Don’t assume that you know what to do! Be sure to see what the professor expects of you. If you aren’t sure, ask! Getting Started (cont.) : Getting Started (cont.) Answer questions that are easy for you first, then go back to the more difficult questions. You don’t want to spend too much time on questions that are hard and risk not finishing the exam. Know what the scoring rules of the test are. For example, if wrong answers are penalized, don’t guess unless you are at least 75% sure of the answer. Getting Started (cont.) : Getting Started (cont.) Eliminate wrong answer choices on multiple choice and matching questions. If you don’t know the answer, it may be simpler to eliminate the wrong choices. Budget your time. Be sure to spend more time on questions that count more points. Always allow time to check your answers at the end. Make Essays Easier : Make Essays Easier When studying for the exam, think of topics that your professor has spent a lot of time on. If your professor says that a particular topic will be an essay question, write it down and practice answering it when you’re studying. It never hurts to ask your professor to give you examples of possible essay questions! Making Essays Easier (cont.) : Making Essays Easier (cont.) Make sure that you allow yourself ample time to complete essay questions at the end. Look for key words such as: list, explain, provide examples, compare, contrast, etc. If there are essay questions on the test, take a look at them first and make a general outline on key points to include in your answer. Proceed to the rest of the test when your general outline is complete. By doing so, some of the other questions may spark your memory to points that you want to include in the essay. Making Essays Easier (cont.) : Making Essays Easier (cont.) When you’re ready to start the essay, write a quick rough draft. Edit your draft and look for spelling or grammatical errors. This will improve your score! Write your final draft and read through it one more time. References : References Kizlik, B. (2008). Effective study skills. In Adprima. Retrieved September 28, 2008, from http://www.adprima.com/studyout.htm. Test taking strategies. (n.d.). In Muskingum College – Center for Advancement and Learning. Retrieved September 28, 2008, from http://www.muskingum.edu/~cal/database/general/testtaking.html.