Test Taking Tips

Prior to the test

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.

test taking tips for the day of the test

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.

during the test

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:

  • ·20 minutes for multiple choice
  • ·15 minutes per essay
  • ·10 minutes for review.

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:

  • ·Answer easiest questions first
  • ·Answer each question without skipping
  • ·Answer hardest questions first, then go back and answer easier questions.

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?

test taking tips for special test taking situations

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:

  • ·Don't look at what other students are doing. Keep focuses on yourself and your goals.
  • ·Don't bother to pay attention to when others are finished. If you find this is a problem, you may not want to sit directly in the front, but off to the side, away from the door so you are not tempted to watch others hand in their tests.
  • ·If you can't get an answer, don't dwell on it, move on to the next question. If you have time, you can go back and try to answer the problem after completing and double-checking the rest of the test. That way you can concentrate on the problem at hand without having to worry about completing the rest of the test and doing your double-checking
  • ·If you run out of time, ask to be able to stay and finish. If that is not allowed, do not beat yourself up.

follow up, know what to do better next time.

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:

  • ·Where did I struggle the most? Was it the essay questions, mathematics, dates? See if there is a pattern to the areas you seem to struggle with, for example, you may understand mathematical concepts, but struggle with the computation. Then you know you need to go back and review your math facts.
  • ·Perhaps your writing is hard to read. In that case, maybe you should use printing instead of cursive.
  • ·Did you run out of time? Maybe you need to budget your test taking time better the next time around.
  • ·Are you realizing that you did not prepare well enough, if so, why? Did you not understand the material? Were you lazy? Do you need extra help?

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.

more test taking ideas

Test Taking Help
An overview addressing the importance of learning proper study skills to improve your test taking.


Combating Test Taking Anxiety
Most people have suffered from test taking anxiety and I can tell you, it's tough to do well on a test when it overwhelms you. The tips in this article will help you combat and overcome test anxiety.


Note Taking
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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