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Test taking skills


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Test taking skills

  1. 1. Developing Your Test-Taking Skills
  2. 2. Introduction Throughout your college career, you will be required to endure many exams from your instructors. They can be multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, or even essay. The following presentation includes some important skills that will help you improve your test-taking skills.
  3. 3. <ul><li>This self-evaluation is intended to estimate how well you prepare for tests. Think about how you prepared for a recent test and answer the questions below. </li></ul><ul><li>1. Read the text? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Yes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B. No </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C. Somewhat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D. Can’t remember </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Looked over the lecture notes? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Yes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B. No </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C. Somewhat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D. Can’t remember </li></ul></ul>Test Taking Activity
  4. 4. <ul><li>3. Organized notes and underlined key words? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Yes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B. No </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C. Somewhat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D. Can’t remember </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4. Prepared study cards to review important information? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Yes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B. No </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C. Somewhat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D. Can’t remember </li></ul></ul>Activity continued…
  5. 5. <ul><li>5. Started to memorize and review work about two days before the test? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Yes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B. No </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C. Somewhat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D. Can’t remember </li></ul></ul><ul><li>6. Tested myself with questions from the textbook or made up questions from notes? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Yes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B. No </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C. Somewhat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D. Can’t remember </li></ul></ul>Activity Continued…
  6. 6. <ul><li>7. Predicted test questions and formulated answers? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Yes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B. No </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C. Somewhat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D. Can’t remember </li></ul></ul><ul><li>8. Studied with three or four others from class? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Yes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B. No </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C. Somewhat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D. Can’t remember </li></ul></ul>Activity Continued
  7. 7. <ul><li>9. Before answering essay questions, underlined key words in the question which indicated the task and wrote a rough outline? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Yes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B. No </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C. Somewhat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D. Can’t remember </li></ul></ul><ul><li>10. Before turning it in, looked over my test to check for careless errors, but did not change an answer unless I was certain that my first answer was wrong? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Yes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B. No </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C. Somewhat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D. Can’t remember </li></ul></ul>Activity Continued
  8. 8. <ul><li>All answer = A </li></ul><ul><li>Count # right and that will give you a percentage. (i.e. 9=90%) </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect on your own studying habits and style and think about how you can improve </li></ul>Scoring
  9. 9. <ul><li>You are demonstrating your ability to understand course material or perform certain tasks.  Successful test taking avoids carelessness. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of objective tests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>true-false, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>multiple choice, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fill-in-the-blank. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples of subjective texts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>short answer, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>essay, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>oral exams </li></ul></ul>When you take a test…
  10. 10. 1. Mis-Reading Direction Errors Avoid by reading all the directions 2. Careless Errors Avoid by reviewing the test 3. Concept Errors Avoid by understanding rules and properties 4. Application Errors Avoid by predicting test questions 6 Types of Test-Taking Errors
  11. 11. <ul><li>5. Test-Taking Errors </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding where most test questions are missed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewing last step in problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find out about answers changing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Setting time limit for each question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Checking easy questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comparing scratch work to answers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not leaving questions blank </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Following the 10 Test-Taking Steps </li></ul></ul><ul><li>6. Study Errors </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid by tracking down where your study efforts failed </li></ul>6 Types of Test-Taking Errors (cont.)
  12. 12. Anticipating Test Content <ul><li>Pay particular attention to any study </li></ul><ul><li>guides.   </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the instructor what to anticipate </li></ul><ul><li>on the test. </li></ul><ul><li>Pay particular attention to points the instructor brings up during class lectures . </li></ul><ul><li>Generate a list of possible questions </li></ul>
  13. 13. Anticipating Test Content (cont.) <ul><li>Review previous tests graded by the </li></ul><ul><li>instructor. </li></ul><ul><li>Confer with other students to predict what </li></ul><ul><li>will be on the test. </li></ul><ul><li>Pay particular attention to clues that </li></ul><ul><li>indicate an instructor might test for a </li></ul><ul><li>particular idea. </li></ul>
  14. 14. 1. Start preparing for your exams the first day of class . You can do this by reading your syllabus carefully to find out when your exams will be, how many there will be, and how much they are weighed into your grade. 2. Plan reviews as part of your regularly weekly study schedule ; review throughout the semester rather than just at exam time. 3. Reviews are much more than reading and rereading all assignments . You need to read over your lecture notes and ask yourself questions on the material you don't know well. Before the Test
  15. 15. 4. Review for several short periods rather than one long period. You will find that you retain information better and get less fatigued. 5. Turn the main points of each topic or heading into questions and check to see if the answers come to you quickly and correctly . Try to predict examination questions; then outline your answers. 6. It may seem &quot;old-fashioned&quot;, but flashcards may be a helpful way to review in courses that have many unfamiliar terms. Review the card in random order using only those terms that you have difficulty remembering. Before the Test (cont.)
  16. 16. During the Test There are also some things to keep in mind when you are TAKING the test. 1.First, read the directions carefully !! Many points have been lost because students didn't follow the directions. 2. Remember to preview the test to see how much time you need to allot for each section. If the test is all multiple choice questions, it is good to know that immediately. 3. Work on the &quot;easiest&quot; parts first. If your strength is essay questions, answer those first to get the maximum points. Pace yourself to allow time for the more difficult parts.
  17. 17. During the Test (cont.) 4. Find out if you are penalized for incorrect responses. (This is probably covered in the directions. If not, make educated guesses. If there is a penalty, avoid guessing. 5. When answering essay questions, try to make a outline in the margin before you begin writing. Organization, clear thinking, and good writing is important, but so is neatness. Be sure to make your writing legible. 6. Save time at the end of the exam to review your test and make sure you haven't left out any answers or parts of answers. This is difficult to do under the stress of exams, but it often keeps you from making needless errors.
  18. 18. During the Test (cont.) <ul><li>How to Guess Multiple Guess </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminate incorrect options </li></ul><ul><li>Choose clearly stated relevant answers </li></ul><ul><li>Positive statements more likely correct </li></ul><ul><li>Check the last word of the question (a, an (s)) </li></ul>
  19. 19. During the Test (cont.) <ul><li>Examples of Multiple Choice </li></ul><ul><li>Which of the following has not been shown to be a probable cause or influence in the development of alcoholism in our society? </li></ul><ul><li>Intelligence b. Personality </li></ul><ul><li>Culture d. Culture </li></ul><ul><li>A heavy coffee drinker who completely ceases </li></ul><ul><li>her intake of caffeine is likely to experience all </li></ul><ul><li>of the following except </li></ul><ul><li>Depression b. Insomnia </li></ul><ul><li>c. Lethargy d. Headaches </li></ul>
  20. 20. During the Test (cont.) <ul><li>True/False Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Be careful with multiple negatives </li></ul><ul><li>Watch out for negative words </li></ul><ul><li>Qualifiers typically point to true answers </li></ul><ul><li>Absolute typically point to false answers </li></ul>
  21. 21. During the Test (cont.) <ul><li>Examples of True/False Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Alcohol is always related to an increase in aggression and violence? </li></ul><ul><li>Simply expecting a drug to produce an effect is often enough to produce the effect. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Review: Resist the urge to leave as soon as you have completed all the items. Do not &quot;second-guess&quot; yourself: Do not change your original answers. Research has indicated that your first hunch is more likely to be correct. After Completing the Test
  23. 23. If the instructor reviews the exam in class, make sure you attend. Even if you aren't interested in the &quot;learning&quot; aspect of the class, it is an opportunity to hear what the instructor was looking for in the answers. This can help you on the NEXT exam. Keep in mind that there are things you can do before, during, and after exams that will help you succeed in the class. In-Class Post-Exam Review
  24. 24. <ul><li>What does test anxiety feel like </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical symptoms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Headaches </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feeling hot/cold </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Faintness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional symptoms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feeling irritable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Getting frustrated quickly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Test anxiety affects your thinking ability and leads to lower test scores </li></ul>Test Anxiety
  25. 25. <ul><li> </li></ul>Test Anxiety Activity A score of 14 or below ranks in the low test anxiety range. Scoring 15 or greater is a good indication you experience considerable discomfort about taking tests. Above 20 signifies high test anxiety. A high test anxiety score is not cause for alarm.
  26. 26. <ul><li>How to control test anxiety </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be well prepared </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think positive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Healthy lifestyle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thought Stopping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Worrying </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Comparing yourself to others </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Worrying about what others will say </li></ul></ul></ul>Managing Test Anxiety
  27. 27. Let’s try some! <ul><li>You have a Psychology exam coming up in two weeks. </li></ul><ul><li>Which of the following will help you be successful in </li></ul><ul><li>getting a good score on this test? </li></ul><ul><li>A. Choose to stay home from lecture because it’s dumb </li></ul><ul><li>B. Set aside a few hours each day prior to the test to look over the material </li></ul><ul><li>C. Go to lecture but fall asleep </li></ul><ul><li>D. Stay up all night cramming the night before the exam </li></ul><ul><li>You are now taking the Psychology test that you have </li></ul><ul><li>worked hard and studied several hours for.  Which of the </li></ul><ul><li>following will help you avoid making a careless mistake on this test: </li></ul><ul><li>A. Go through the test as fast as possible because you just want to get done </li></ul><ul><li>B. Assume that all right answers are “C” </li></ul><ul><li>C. Read through all the directions carefully and listen to any specific instructions given by the instructor </li></ul><ul><li>D. Do all the easy questions first and forget about the hard ones because you don’t know them anyway </li></ul>
  28. 28. Let’s Try Some <ul><li>“ Second-Guessing” yourself is a common error that many students do while taking a test. </li></ul><ul><li>A. True </li></ul><ul><li>B. False </li></ul><ul><li>4. You should always cram through your information </li></ul><ul><li>the night before a test. </li></ul><ul><li>A. True </li></ul><ul><li>B. False </li></ul><ul><li>5. Which of the following is a way to avoid test </li></ul><ul><li>anxiety? </li></ul><ul><li>A. Thinking negatively </li></ul><ul><li>B. Worrying </li></ul><ul><li>C. Eating lots of sugar and fats the night before an </li></ul><ul><li>exam </li></ul><ul><li>D. Being well prepared for the exam </li></ul>
  29. 29. Thank you for attending!
  30. 30. <ul><li>Included information adapted from the following sources: </li></ul><ul><li>On Becoming a Master Student by David B. Ellis  </li></ul><ul><li>How to Study in College by Walter Pauk </li></ul><ul><li>Test-taking Skills by James Jones </li></ul><ul><li>University of Minnesota-Duluth Student Handbook </li></ul><ul><li>University of St. Thomas - Study Guides and Strategies </li></ul>