Taking the Test: Strategies to help you do your best
When you are taking a test, you have an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of course material or to perform certain tasks. Here are some tips to be a test taking rock star!
Some tips to get started:
- Arrive early, and bring everything you need (pen, paper, calculator, books, etc.).
- Take a few deep breaths to relax; repeat as needed throughout the test. Be sure to keep the test in perspective.
- Put your name on the exam.
- Preview the entire test before starting to get an overview of what is expected and strategize how you will take the test.
- Read directions carefully to avoid careless errors.
- Ask questions if needed.
- Do a quick “mind dump”. Write down information.
- Answer questions in a strategic order.
- Start with the easiest questions first; this will help you calm down, score some easy points, and mentally orient yourself to the exam. It may also help provide clues to some of the more difficult questions.
- Then, move to the more difficult questions OR those with the most point value.
- For objective tests (true/false, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank), try to supply your own answer before choosing an option on the test. Eliminate the answers you know are wrong.
- For subjective tests (essay or short answer), pay attention to words like define, compare, explain, etc. Map or outline the main points you want to include. Be sure to write legibly.
- Keep an eye on the clock.
And if you still have time, do not turn in your test and leave before you have done these things:
- Review your test to make sure you:
- answered all the questions.
- did not mark answers incorrectly.
- did not make simple mistakes.
- Proofread spelling, grammar, punctuation, decimal points, etc.
- Be one of the last students out the door.