Taking a test can often be stressful and challenging not only beforehand but also while you are taking it. Below are some general tips to enable you not only to feel good about the test prior to taking it, but also to help guide you through it. Knowing about and using some of these helpful tips will ultimately assist you in achieving the good grades that you desire and deserve for your overall academic success.
Preparing for the Test:
Your Mindset Matters:
Stress and anxiety are often huge contributors to your ability to take a test successfully. Sometimes it just comes down to your mindset and how you feel about “You”. A positive attitude can lead to positive results in anything that you do and a test is no different. So with that said:
- Don’t label yourself as a “bad test taker” by believing this or telling others. The more one says something, the more they believe it and other individuals start to as well.
- Adopt a positive “self- talk” mindset. Think about the past hurdles you’ve overcome and use those to encourage you going forward.
- Free you working memory by writing down everything your feel about the exam. Get any of the stress out!
- Try exercising or being physically active. Your physical health directly impacts your mental health.
Develop the Right Studying Habits:
The good habits that you form all along help you to be more successful in achieving the grades that you want and deserve. Make sure that you do the following:
- Stop multitasking. It makes you slower in getting stuff done.
- De-clutter your environment or study elsewhere.
- Avoid loud noises. Close your door or use ear plugs.
- Avoid using the Internet, unless it’s needed.
- Turn off your cell phone and television as they are distractions.
- Avoid listening music with lyrics.
- Study throughout the week. Avoid studying at the last minute.
- Get good amount of sleep. When you sleep, your brain reinforces what you’ve learned.
- Eat healthy and avoid junk foods.
- On the day of the test, eat breakfast. You need energy before the test.
During the Test
Use Your Plan of Attack:
Rushing through any test can often lead to poor results. So taking the time to understand what is required and being asked of you is important as a first step. Having a plan in place as to how to tackle the test is important whether it is a multiple choice test or one in which the answer is written by you. Be ready and be prepared to use it by doing the following:
- Focus on doing the easiest questions first and come back to the harder ones later.
- Bring a watch and allocate only a certain amount of time for each question.
- Read all information before answering.
- Check your answers.
- Never leave the answers blank, unless there’s a penalty for guessing.
For Multiple Choice Questions:
- The right answer is in front of you. Think about differentiating that one answer from the others.
- Look for extreme words like “always” or “never”. They are generally wrong. Also be mindful of tricky words like “except”.
- Scan all the answers first.
- Cross out the wrong answers to narrow down your options.
- Remember, just because your answer is in the choice doesn’t mean it’s correct.
- For math sections, fill in what is known to find the unknown.
- Also for math tests, filling in answers can often be faster than solving the question.
- Always reread the question and your answer together.
Reading Long Passages:
- Read the title before reading the passage.
- Review questions before reading the passage.
- Briefly summarize each paragraph of the passage for quick reference.
- Underline important nouns and verbs.
These tips are not all inclusive, but will hopefully help you in preparing and taking whatever type of test is required of you. Being prepared beforehand and knowing what to do during the test helps you to get the best grade possible, which is what you deserve. Here’s to your academic success!