Exam and Test Preparation


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Week 8: Test Preparation & Dealing with Test Anxiety

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  • Take a bottle of cold water!
  • Chat with your neighbor – What have you done at the beginning of tests so far? What worked? What didn’t?
  • 1. Outline/mind map/brainstorm 2. Must know the answer and present it well. 3. Intro, Middle (points A, B, C), Conclusion 4. Never stop writing – activity reduces anxiety.
  • How would do you approach multiple choice questions? No phone a friend! B
  • Much like multiple choice – just two answers Absolutes have no exception, 100% right or 100% wrong – all, always, every, just, only, never, none, no, not, must Relatives Double negatives – certainly agree, do not disagree; “We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control.”
  • Fill-in-the-Blank/Short Answer – Just the facts ma’am. Look for clues in grammar and tenses. Pay attention to the length of the line or the number of lines given. Read through after you answer to make sure it sounds right.
  • Open book tests are not always best. -   Write down formulas and example problems on a separate sheet, tape tabs to important pages, write a table of contents for your notes.
  • Setting yourself up for failure
  • Exam and Test Preparation

    2. 2. College Test Taking From time to time, you will be called upon to “show what you know.” Knowing your learning style can help you decide the best way to study for your test.
    3. 3. Be Prepared Physically  Get some sleep  Exercise  Eat right Emotionally  Know the material  Practice relaxing  Use positive self-talk Generally  Find out about the test  Design a plan  Join a study group
    4. 4. First & Foremost Put the test in perspective. Of course, you want to do your best, but remember:  This test is not the end of the world, all you are doing is putting marks on a piece of paper or on a computer screen.  Be prepared. Relax.  Know that you will pass the test with flying colors.
    5. 5. Tips for Taking Tests Analyze, ask and stay  Don’t linger on hard calm. questions – move on. Make the best use of your  If you feel yourself time. starting to panic, stop Jot down idea-starters what you’re doing and before the test. take a deep breath. Begin by previewing the  Ask for clarification when entire test. necessary. Ask any questions  Use clues in the test to jog regarding the instructions. your memory. Don’t get distracted by  Re-check your work before others finishing before you. handing it in.
    6. 6. Essay Question Strategies Budget your exam time.  Don’t get distracted by others finishing before Read the question you. carefully.  Conclude by Outline the key ideas. summarizing how your thesis is supported. Refer specifically to the  Watch grammar, spelling question in your opening and punctuation. sentence.  Be sure you have Make a clear, coherent completely answered the question. thesis statement.  Write legibly. Develop the main body of  Proofread your work. the essay to support your thesis statement.
    7. 7. The Million Dollar Question
    8. 8. Multiple Choice Strategies Read the question carefully and try to answer it before you read the choices. Strike out wrong answers. Beware of questions that use absolute words, like “always” or “never.” Change answers cautiously. Beware of second-guessing yourself. Read all the options before making a choice. If you don’t know an answer, move on. If there is no penalty for guessing, make an educated guess.
    9. 9. True-False Strategies Read the question carefully. Go with your hunch. Watch for key words:  Absolutes (never, etc.) are probably false  Relatives (some, etc.) are probably true  Double negatives – not untruthful, etc. If a part of it is false, all of it is false. Answer all questions unless there is a penalty for guessing.
    10. 10. Fill-in-the-Blank Strategies  Read thoroughly to be sure what is being asked.  Be brief and specific.  Give an answer for every blank.  Short blanks may have long answers and vice versa. Don’t assume anything.  Remember an “a” before a blank wants a consonant word and “an” a vowel word.  Watch for key “trigger” words.
    11. 11. Matching Questions Before answering, review all terms and descriptions. Match the terms you are sure of, crossing them out as you go. Try using flash cards to help you prepare for these types of questions.
    12. 12. Types of Tests Problem-Solving Tests  Math, sciences – will be asked to show steps to solve a problem Machine-Scored Tests  Be careful to include all information Computerized Tests  Your comfort depends on how computer literate you are Laboratory Tests  Completing tasks similar to those you have been performing in lab Open-Book and Open-Note Tests  Usually harder than other exams, not easier – look out! Take-Home Tests  Usually essay, and tend to be more difficult than other tests
    13. 13. Test Anxiety Test anxiety has many sources:  Setting unrealistic goals  Expectations of those close to you  Lack of preparation  Negative prior experiences Types of test anxiety:  Standardized tests  Types of classroom tests  Computerized tests  Subject-specific
    14. 14. Symptoms of Test Anxiety  Butterflies in the stomach  Queasiness or nausea  Headaches  Faster heartbeat  Hyperventilating  Shaking  Sweating  Muscle cramps  “Going blank”
    15. 15. Combating Test Anxiety Control your breathing Stretch your muscles Sit relaxed, no tense muscles Visit your campus counseling center for other tips, including visualization Focus on the positive Do not allow anyone to undermine your confidence
    16. 16. Getting Your Test Back Begin by reviewing your test results. Don’t let yourself become undone by one failure. Use the disappointment to critically think about  the causes of the poor performance  crafting new strategies to improve your situation. Talk to your instructor if you find an error.
    17. 17. Tempted to Cheat? Cheating and plagiarism can have ugly consequences: Cheaters struggle with a nagging conscience, self-doubt, dissatisfaction and guilt. Humiliation results if you get caught. You may, at least, receive a “0” on your exam, or possibly be expelled from the college or university. Professors who catch you cheating may spread the word and refuse to write letters of recommendation, ruining chances for graduate study or participation in special programs. And remember the person you cheat the most is yourself.
    18. 18. The Big Three Be prepared! Relax! Know you can do it!
    19. 19. GSP Exam Grammar, Spelling,  GSP Resources Punctuation  www.unt.edu/writinglab  Multiple choice  GSP workshops –  70% or higher AUDB 103  October 18 @ 11:00  May take the test up to 3 times a.m.  Individual tutoring