Test Taking Strategies
Studying to Succeed on Tests
Getting ready for a test begins long before the actual test date. As you listen in class, take notes, and study at borne, you are preparing to succeed on tests and projects. Use these tips to help you do your best.
- Develop effective note-taking skills. Taking notes during lectures, class
discussions, and as your read your textbook will help you engage with what you are learning. Those notes can also be used to create your own study guide, or for reviewing material before a test.
- Save quizzes and tests that you take. Make sure the Corrected answers are shown. Use these to prepare for a major test or exam.
- Study in 30 minute intervals for a week before the test.
- Create a study guide several clays before the scheduled test. Use note cards,
create a foldable, or use notebook paper. Divide the material into easy to remember categories.
- Be sure to include facts and details in your study guide. Also include
information about the material is important, or about cause and effect relationships in what you are studying. Consider sketching out your own time line(s) in order to remember key dates and events.
- Learn the meanings of certain Words-such as evaluate, enumerate, and illustrate-that appear in many exam questions.
- Practice all the types of questions you will encounter on the test. Typically,
tests are some combination of multiple choice, short response, and extended response questions.
- Right before the test:
- Get at least eight hours of sleep each night for a week leading up
to the test.
- Eat a nutritious breakfast the morning of the test.
- Have plenty of sharpened pencîls and erasers available.
- Complete a few easy, questions the morning of the test.
This will help you get into a test-taking mindset.
Succeeding on Multiple Choice Tests
- Before you begin, survey the test. How many questions are there? Are there
images or maps? Are some questions worth more than others? HOW much time do you have to take the test? Pace yourself accordingly.
- Think of answers in your head before looking at the possibie answers provided. Doing so may help you recognize a correct answer immediately.
- Answer the questions you know first and go back to those for which you need
- To understand the questions better, rewrite them in your own words if you have time. Be careful not to change the meaning.
- Eliminate answers that you know for certain are incorrect. Then choose the most likely answer from those remaining.
- Do not pick an answer choice just because it sounds good at first reading.
Sometimes a choice is meant to sound correct but is not. Read all of the answer choices very carefully. Then, select the best one.
- When answering a test question that uses a map, chart, or graph, study
the information provided to make sure you understand what you are looking at.
- Be sure to pay attention to specific words in a question. Words can act as clues to help you identify the correct answer.
- Remember that you are looking for the best, or most accurate, answer. It might not necessarily be the only answer that applies.
- Avoid changing your answer to a multiple-choice test question. Unless you misread the question, your first answer choice is often correct.
- If you have time, review your work. Make sure you did not overlook any
questions. Remember, do not change an answer unless you are certain about the change.
Succeeding On Essay Tests
- Read the directions carefully. The directions will tell you what type of essay
you need to write. The directions will also identify whether you need to write an essay for each question, or select questions that you want to write essays for.
- Budget your time. Divide the amount of time you have by the number of
questions you have or essays you need to write. Be sure to watch the Clock and do not spend all time on one essay.
- What type of question are you answering? Is your essay to be expository
(informative), creative, persuasive, or narrative?
- Make a quick outline. Once you have read the question carefully write out a
quick outline. Include one main idea or sentence for each paragraph you'd like to write. This allows you to plan your Writing and to ensure that your essay is logically organized.
- Develop one main idea per paragraph. Use your outline to help you plan
details that explain or expand on each main idea.
- Write strong sentences. If you are writing an expository (informative) or
persuasive essay, be sure to include facts or evidence to support your main points. If you are writing a creative or narrative essay, sentences should be descriptive and engaging.
- Proofread your Work.