Top 10 Tips for Effective Test Taking
Your palms are sweaty, your mind is racing, and your anxiety level is out of this world. That's right...it's exam time! Exams are a stressful time for any student. Nerves can get the best of you, no matter how many hours you studied or how many note cards you made. We have some great stress-reducing suggestions to help you focus, relax, and ace that next big exam.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Never take a test on an empty stomach! A healthy breakfast is the first step in properly preparing for an exam. Fuel the brain with whole wheats, fruits, and even nuts in the morning to give your best performance.
You made flash cards, memorized, and reviewed questions and problems over and over. The most important thing now is a good night's sleep. If you have covered the content thoroughly, it's time to rest, focus, and stay calm and confident for the next day.
The night before the test, gather everything you need for the test: pencils, pens, scrap paper, erasers, calculator, etc. This will allow you time in the morning to eat a healthy breakfast and review notes, if necessary. You don't want to start your day rushing out the door stressed and with an empty stomach!
Get organized the night before, then do yourself a favor and arrive for your test early. This will give you some time to review notes, flash cards, or any other material you want to refresh before the exam. You can also take this time to clear your mind, settle your nerves, and prepare yourself mentally.
Your attitude and outlook will reflect greatly on the outcome of the test. Make sure you stay confident and calm throughout your exam. If you start to feel nervous or anxious, take a few deep breaths to collect yourself.
Set a Pace
When you first receive your test, quickly survey the entire test so you can determine how to budget your time. Set a pace throughout the exam: Don't spend too much time on one question, and don't speed through carelessly. Try not to spend more than one minute on each question. If you get stuck on a question, skip it and return to it later. Make sure you read each question carefully and answer accurately.
Show Your Work
Be sure to show as much of your work as you can. That way both you and the grader know what you're trying to do. Even if you can do the problem in your head, write it down. If you don't finish the question or get the final answer wrong, you might receive partial credit for doing the work correctly.
If you don't know the answer to a multiple-choice question, don't leave it blank and don't guess randomly. First, eliminate the choices you know are wrong, and then make an educated guess on the remaining choices. This will give you a better chance of choosing the correct answer and earning points.
Accurately Fill in Answer Grids
If the answer sheet is a bubble grid, make sure you fill in the answer on the correct number of the sheet.
Ignore Other Students
Don't worry if other students finish before you. Take advantage of the allotted time for the test by double checking (but not double guessing!) your answers. Make sure you have answered all the questions and that your handwriting is legible.