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Test Taking Tips

Test Preparation Tips

While tests may be a challenging part of the learning process, there are ways to prepare for them more effectively and reduce stress.  Try some of these tips:

Never Be Afraid to Ask Questions

  • When is the test?
  • How much is it worth?
  • What content is being tested?
  • What will the format be?

Establish a Preparation Schedule

  • Being a full-time student is a full-time job. Do everything between 8-5 if possible to keep your nights and weekends free.
  • Record all test dates for the course on a calendar.
  • Start studying one to two hours a day, a week before the test.
  • Get a good night’s sleep and eat a meal before the test.

Use Active Study Strategies

  • Use mnemonic devices to improve memory.
  • Use SQ4R and active reading study strategies to improve retention.
  • Study in the morning or afternoon hours when your mind is more alert.
  • Review all highlighted text and notes.
  • Take the time to answer the questions at the end of each chapter.
  • Prepare index cards.
  • Participate in study groups.

During the Test:

  • Pay attention to verbal/written directions.
  • Read directions slowly, twice.
  • Scan entire test.
  • Evaluate the importance of each section/ point value.
  • In margins jot memory aids, formulas, equations, and facts.
  • Answer the easiest and/or shortest first.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Look for answers in other questions.

Overcoming Test Anxiety

Test anxiety manifests itself emotionally, behaviorally, and physically. Loss of sleep, negative self-talk, and headaches are just a few of the symptoms of anxiety. Fortunately, there are ways to manage it:

  • Pray and seek support from others.
  • Prepare effectively for your test using a variety of study methods.
  • Make a study schedule, allowing plenty of time to prepare.
  • Think positive thoughts and visualize yourself completing the test successfully.
  • Practice healthy sleeping and eating patterns.
  • Keep the test in perspective. Many elements go into calculating your final grade and a test is just one.
  • Relax.