Test Taking Tips
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  • 1. A Student Development Seminar Developed and Last Updated by Dr. Tim Dosemagen, Dean – 5/2013 With grateful acknowledgement to TestTakingTips.com, and TeacherVision.com. Test Taking Tips Tools For Student Success
  • 2. The Million Dollar Tip!! • Throughout your classes and your program, remember this most important tip: • If you do not understand a concept or some information, ask for assistance!!
  • 3. Top Ten Test-Taking Tips for Students • 1. Have a Positive Attitude • Approach the big test as you'd approach a giant jigsaw puzzle. It might be tough, but you can do it! A positive attitude goes a long way toward success.
  • 4. Top Ten Test-Taking Tips for Students • 2. Make a Plan • The week before the test, ask your teacher what the test is going to cover. Is it from the textbook only? Class notes? Can you use your calculator? If you've been absent, talk to friends about material you may have missed. Make a list of the most important topics to be covered and use that as a guide when you study. Circle items that you know will require extra time. Be sure to plan extra time to study the most challenging topics.
  • 5. Top Ten Test-Taking Tips for Students • 3. The Night Before • Cramming doesn't work. If you've followed a study plan, the night before the test you should do a quick review and get to bed early. Remember, your brain and body need sleep to function well, so don't stay up late!
  • 6. Top Ten Test-Taking Tips for Students • 4. The Morning of the Test • Did you know that you think better when you have a full stomach? So don't skip breakfast the morning of the test. Get to school early and do a ten-minute power study right before the test, so your brain is turned on and tuned up.
  • 7. Top Ten Test-Taking Tips for Students • 5. Test Time • Before the test begins, make sure you have everything you'll need - scratch paper, extra pencils, your calculator (if you're allowed to use it). Understand how the test is scored: Do you lose points for incorrect answers? Or is it better to make guesses when you're not sure of the answer? Read the instructions! You want to make sure you are marking answers correctly.
  • 8. Top Ten Test-Taking Tips for Students • 6. Manage Your Time • Scan through the test quickly before starting. Answering the easy questions first can be a time saver and a confidence builder. Plus, it saves more time in the end for you to focus on the hard stuff.
  • 9. Top Ten Test-Taking Tips for Students • 7. I'm Stuck! • Those tricky problems can knock you off balance. Don't get worried or frustrated. Reread the question to make sure you understand it, and then try to solve it the best way you know how. If you're still stuck, circle it and move on. You can come back to it later. What if you have no idea about the answer? Review your options and make the best guess you can, but only if you don't lose points for wrong answers.
  • 10. Top Ten Test-Taking Tips for Students • 8. Multiple-Choice Questions • The process of elimination can help you choose the correct answer in a multiple-choice question. Start by crossing off the answers that couldn't be right. Then spend your time focusing on the possible correct choices before selecting your answer.
  • 11. Top Ten Test-Taking Tips for Students • 9. Neatness Counts • If your 4s look like 9s, it could be a problem. Be sure that your writing is legible and that you erase your mistakes. For machine-scored tests, fill in the spaces carefully.
  • 12. Top Ten Test-Taking Tips for Students • 10. I'm Done! • Not so fast - when you complete the last item on the test, remember that you're not done yet. First, check the clock and go back to review your answers, making sure that you didn't make any careless mistakes (such as putting the right answer in the wrong place or skipping a question). Spend the last remaining minutes going over the hardest problems before you turn in your test.
  • 13. Test Taking Tips: Multiple Choice Tests • Read the question before you look at the answer. • Come up with the answer in your head before looking at the possible answers, this way the choices given on the test won't throw you off or trick you. • Eliminate answers you know aren't right. • Read all the choices before choosing your answer.
  • 14. Test Taking Tips: Multiple Choice Tests • Choose the most general answer when other choices are specific. • Choose the longest answer when others are much shorter. • Choose the answer with a middle value when other answers are higher or lower. • Choose neither of the similar answers. • Choose one of two opposite answers.
  • 15. Test Taking Tips: Multiple Choice Tests • If there is no guessing penalty, always take an educated guess and select an answer. • Don't keep on changing your answer, usually your first choice is the right one, unless you misread the question. • In "All of the above" and "None of the above" choices, if you are certain one of the statements is true, don't choose "None of the above“, or if one of the statements are false, don't choose "All of the above".
  • 16. Test Taking Tips: Multiple Choice Tests • Choose the answer that agrees grammatically. For ex: a, and an = singular, are = plural. • Choose the answer most synonymous with key words in the question or statement. • Count the number of blanks in fill-in questions or statements. • Choose from among familiar answers. Avoid unknown options. • Choose the most logical answer to you. • Avoid answers with absolutes in them. Examples are always, never, every, none, all, only.)
  • 17. Test Taking Tips: Multiple Choice Tests • In a question with an "All of the above" choice, if you see that there are at least two correct statements, then "All of the above" is probably the answer. • A positive choice is more likely to be true than a negative one. • Usually the correct answer is the choice with the most information.
  • 18. Overcoming Test Taking Anxiety • Being well prepared for the test is the best way to reduce test taking anxiety. • Space out your studying over a few days or weeks, and continually review class material. Don't try to learn everything the night before. • Try to maintain a positive attitude while preparing for the test and during the test. • Exercising for a few days before the test will help reduce stress.
  • 19. Overcoming Test Taking Anxiety • Get a good night's sleep before the test. • Show up to test early so you won't have to worry about being late. • Stay relaxed, if you begin to get nervous take a few deep breaths, slowly, to relax yourself - and then get back to work. • Read the directions slowly and carefully.
  • 20. Overcoming Test Taking Anxiety • If you don't understand the directions on the test, ask the teacher to explain them to you. • Skim through the test so that you have a good idea how to pace yourself. • Write down important formulas, facts, definitions and/or keywords in the margin first, so you won't worry about forgetting them. • Do the simple questions first to help build up your confidence for the harder questions.
  • 21. Overcoming Test Taking Anxiety • Don't worry about how fast other people finish their test; just concentrate on your own test. • If you don't know a question skip it for the time being, and come back to it later if you have time. • You don't have to always get every question right to do well on the test. • Focus on the question at hand. Don't let your mind wander on to other things. • If you're still experiencing extreme test anxiety after following these tips, seek help from your school counselor.
  • 22. Studying Before Testing • Cramming for exams should be avoided at all costs. You should only cram for an exam as a last resort. • It's hard to take in and retain a large amount of information in a short period of time.
  • 23. Studying Before Testing • Eat some food to give you energy to study, but avoid consuming excess sugar which will make you hyper and will make it more difficult to study. • An apple does a better job at keeping you focused and awake than does caffeine. • Find a well lit place with no distractions around to study, but don't get too comfortable or you may fall a sleep. • Keep a positive attitude, it is easier to study when you are relaxed than when you are stressed out.
  • 24. Studying Before Testing • Since your time is limited you have to choose what you study. Don't attempt to learn everything, focus on things that will get you the most points on the exam. • Focus on the main ideas and learn key formulas. Skip the details for now, and only come back to them if you see that you have time after you have learned the key points. • Write down the key ideas/formulas on a sheet of paper and keep on studying from that sheet, repetition is important. • Highlight the important points in your notes and text, and focus on these.
  • 25. Studying Before Testing • Read the chapter summaries (they usually do a good job at summarizing the important points). If there are no chapter summaries then, skim through the text and write down key ideas. • Study from past tests, review questions, lecture notes, homework & review sheets. • Take at least one five minute break an hour so that you can gather your thoughts and let your brain relax. • If cramming, try to get at least 3 hours of sleep (one sleep cycle) before the exam so that you don't fall asleep when taking your exam. • Don't forget to set your alarm!
  • 26. Questions / Comments