Learning 101: Test Taking


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Ever feel like you don't know how to prpare for tests, or what to study. How do you answer all the differnt types of questions. Or maybe you have test anxiety. This presentation offers lots of tips and tricks for preparing for and taking tests.

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  • Create study checklists - Identify all of the material that you will be tested on-- list notes, formulas, ideas, and text assignments you are accountable for. This checklist will enable you break your studying into organized, manageable chunks, which should allow for a comprehensive review plan with minimal anxietyCreate summary notes and "maps" - Briefly map out the important ideas of the course and the relationships of these ideas. Summary notes should display lists and hierarchies of ideas. Creativity and a visual framework will help you recall these ideas.Record your notes - Record your notes and significant portions of text on audiotapes so you can review material with a CD player or MP3 player. Having a recording of important information will enable you to study while walking or relaxing in a non-academic environmentCreate flashcards - For definitions, formulas, or lists that you need to have memorized--put topics on one side of the card, answers on the other. Flashcards will enable you to test your ability to not only recognize important information, but also your ability to retrie
  • What causes test anxiety?Lack of preparation as indicated by:Cramming the night before the examPoor time management Failure to organize text informationPoor study habitsWorrying about the following:Past performance on examsHow friends and other students are doingThe negative consequences of failurePhysical Signs of Test Anxiety During an exam, as in any stressful situations, a student may experience any of the following bodily changes:Perspiration, Sweaty palms, Headache, Upset stomach, Rapid heartbeat or Tense musclesEffects of Test AnxietyNervousnessHaving difficulty reading and understanding he questions on the exam paperHaving difficulty organizing your thoughtsHaving difficulty retrieving key words and concepts when answering essay questionsDoing poorly on an exam even though you know the materialMental BlockingGoing blank on questionsRemembering the correct answers as soon as the exam is overHow to Reduce Test AnxietyStudy and know the material well enough so that you can recall it even if you are under stressLearn to practice good time management and avoidProcrastinationDay dreamingBuild confidence by studying throughout the semester and avoiding cramming the night before the examLearn to concentrate on the material you are studyingGenerating questions from your textbooks and lecture notesFocusing on key words, concepts and examples in your textbooks Use relaxation techniques. For example, taking long deep breaths to relax the body and reduce stress
  • Read over any marks from the professor.Go over the test with the professor and ask any questions you may have.Check for grading accuracy. Keep the test to review for later tests.Set a goal for yourself for the next section of class and the next test.Seek outside assistance early if needed from a tutor or other resource.Talk to the professor
  • Learning 101: Test Taking

    1. 1. Test-Taking
    2. 2. Reviewing for Exams Begins on the first day of class – Before class: Read and be prepared – During Class: Take notes – After Class: Review notes, ask questions
    3. 3. Multi-step Review • Lesson Preview – Reading before class – Look over PowerPoint before class if available • Daily Review – – – – Look over notes Highlight, summarize Write down questions Make flashcards • Weekly Review – – Review everything you have learned so far at the end of each week. To Create Long Term Learning
    4. 4. Study Tools Study Checklists – keep a running list of things you need to learn for a test so you don’t forget something. Study Guides – keep a document that has key words, and main ideas that you can study from. Record Your Notes – If you’re an auditory learner record your notes and listen to them often. Flash Cards – Make flashcards after each chapter so that when you get close to the test you have a whole pack to study. Study Maps – Brain Dump (See example) Important Ideas Related Terms Main Idea/ Topic Key Facts
    5. 5. Day of the Test • • • • • • • • Bring cold water Wear comfortable clothes Have pens and pencils Read directions Pace yourself Skip hard questions Look over finished test BREATHE and RELAX!
    6. 6. How to Answer: Multiple Choice Questions • • • • Make predictions Don’t change answers Eliminate obviously wrong answers Do not read too much into questions
    7. 7. How to Answer: True/False Questions • If any part is false the whole statement is false
    8. 8. How to Answer: Matching Questions • • • • • Examine both lists to determine relationships Use one list as a starting point Look at the entire list before selecting a match Cross off items on the second list Do not guess until all known matches are made
    9. 9. How to Answer: Fill in the Blank Questions • Look for clues in grammar and tenses. • Pay attention to the length and number of lines • Read through to make sure it sounds right
    10. 10. How to Answer: Short Answer Questions • • • • • Leave space between your responses Give short answers Give the 5 W’s Use terms the instructor used If you have difficulty, answer by giving an example
    11. 11. How to Answer: Essay Questions • Plan ahead by predicting essay topics before the test • As soon as you get your test, preview it. • Brainstorm on the topic. • Make an outline. • Follow an organized pattern. • Be brief and to the point; quality over quantity! • Write neatly. • Leave space between paragraphs and essay questions
    12. 12. How to Prepare for Open Book Exams • • • • • You have to do something Write down formulas and example problems Tape tabs to important pages Write a table of contents for your notes During the test read through and answer questions you know first • Pace yourself, don’t spend forever looking
    13. 13. Test Anxiety • What is it? – Perception of the threat of the test. – In some way the test is tied to who you are. • How do I know I have it? – Sweaty palms, racing heart, blanking • How do I deal with it? – – – – Prepare, the more prepared the better Use a relaxation technique Answer a question you know first Deal with the deeper fears about the test through counseling.
    14. 14. Test Anxiety • What causes test anxiety? • Lack of preparation • Worrying about the test or the effect of the test on your life. • Physical Signs of Test Anxiety - Perspiration, Sweaty palms, Headache, Upset stomach, Rapid heartbeat or Tense muscles • Effects of Test Anxiety- Nervousness or Mental Blocking • How to Reduce Test Anxiety • Study and know the material • Learn to practice good time management and avoid • Build confidence by studying throughout the semester and avoiding cramming • Learn to concentrate on the material you are studying • Learn some relaxation techniques
    15. 15. When a Test is Returned 1. Don’t throw it away 2. Go to professors office hours to seek clarification 3. Use it to study for cumulative finals 4. Use it to help you understand how to study for future tests.