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Steps to Better Test-Taking

Steps to Better Test Taking

  1. Don't cram the night before a test. Give yourself adequate time to prepare. Develop and take practice tests. Time yourself while taking them.

  2. Learn how to relax before the test. To relieve stress, use relaxation techniques such as breathing and exercise. Avoid any negative self-talk. A positive mental attitude can reduce anxiety.

  3. Memory data dump. Before beginning the test, write down information you may forget, such as formulas, rules, properties, etc. For example, to recall the order of operations, you might write P E M/D A/S.

  4. Preview the test. Before you begin a test, scan each question and mark any questions that can be answered easily or that may be worth more points.

  5. Second memory data dump. Write down any additional information you think you might need based on your test preview.

  6. Be aware of the time allotted for the test. After you preview the test, devise a strategy to get the most points in the least amount of time.

  7. Answer easy questions first. Answer all of the questions you marked during the test preview. Save time for the harder problems.

  8. Don't spend too much time on one problem. If you "get stuck" on a question, skip it and go on to the next problem. Steps used to solve other problems may help you to recall how to solve the more difficult problems.

  9. Save the harder problems for last. Read difficult questions twice and set a time limit for solving them. Go onto other problems if you cannot solve the questions in the time you allocated.

  10. Review skipped questions. Try to remember and write down any related information so you can solve the more difficult problems.

  11. Guess at any remaining questions. Never leave questions blank. Try to do something to earn at least some points, even if it means only copying the problem and writing down the first step.

  12. Review the entire test. Look for misread directions or careless errors. If you think you may have solved a problem incorrectly, rework it again, and then compare the new answer to the one you previously obtained.

  13. Use all of the time allotted for the test. Finishing early usually costs points because of careless errors!


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