Your first paragraph ...Test taking tips isn't ALL about studying!
Don't spend all your time studying, be sure to eat properly and get some exercise.
Speaking of eating properly, stay away from junk food and tons of caffeine.
If you are feeling extremely tired and you've had several cups of coffee, try water. Water will wake you up more than coffee.
Keep good sleeping habits, not just the night before the test, but try to get good sleep every night. All studying and reviewing should be completed before test day.
One of the keys to successful test taking is to stay relaxed. You can do this by not trying to cram more information into your brain. If you can review things without getting nerved up, just do a low-key review. If you are the type of person who cannot review things without getting nerved up, then stay away from reviewing on the day of the test.
Get to class early.
If you are allowed to choose your own seat for the test, find a place with as few distractions as possible. Seats with distractions could be next to your friends or next to the window. A seat in the front near the teacher will most likely help you focus and keep away the distractions.
Make sure you have all the test taking supplies you need, pens, pencils, erasers, scrap paper, calculator, etc.
Pay close attention to any directions the teacher gives you regarding the test. This includes checking the chalkboard to make sure you have any directions that may have been written.
One of the most important taking tips I can give you is that taking a test is not a race, so don't treat it like the Daytona 500. Who cares if you are the last one finished? Do not try to be the first one finished...that is not important. What is important is doing well on the test.
This is a great test taking tip. If appropriate, write down facts, formulas, equations, etc. that you may need for the test. This can be done right away so you don't have to try to remember them as you are working on the test, you can just refer to them as needed.
Once you receive the test be sure to read the directions carefully and purposefully.
Give the test a once over so you know how many questions there are and the types of questions. This way you can budget your time. For example, if you have one hour to complete the exam and you have 50 multiple-choice questions and two essay questions you could budget you time as follows:
Also, keep in mind how much the different parts are worth. Be sure to spend more time on the parts that will give you the most points.
Most people work better by answering the easier questions first. This will give you a good head start and build up your confidence. However, feel free to find a system that works for you. You can:
If you feel like you are losing your focus, take a mini-break of a few seconds. Take your eyes off the test, take a few deep breaths, do an inconspicuous stretch (make sure you are not distracting if you decide to stretch). And then get back to it with a cleared-up mind.
This test taking tip is something a lot of people hate doing and I'm not sure why. When you complete the test, go back and double-check your work. Make sure you have left enough time to do this. Yes I know this takes more time and you just want to get out of that testing room, but trust me, if you catch a simple error that could mean the difference between a B and an A, isn't it worth the extra time?
What happens if you've done a great job preparing, you know the material, you've followed all these test taking tips and yet something starts to go wrong, what do you do?
First of all, DON'T PANIC, I know, I know, easier said than done, right?
Here's how to deal with Panic:
This test taking tip is usually not on the radar, but it's a great idea. I know that once you finish an exam, the last thing you want to do is to continue thinking about it. But right after a test is the perfect time to make note of what you felt you did well and areas you would like to improve on. For example, ask yourself the following:
The goal here is to be totally honest with yourself so that you can improve in the future. This could be one of the most important and effective test taking tips you'll ever hear. If you are having a hard time deciding what areas you need help in you should ask your teacher or a parent.
Remember parents and teachers are there to help you. Once a teacher finds out how serious you are about doing well with tests, they will typically do whatever they can to help you be successful.
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Effective note taking is a great way to improve your grades. Here is an overview on note taking technigues. It is important to find a method of note taking that works for you. That's why at Study Skills For All Ages, we discuss many different methods of note taking.
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