Test Preparation—General Guidelines

Gathering knowledge of the truth is the best preparation for tests.
  •  Hours of concentrated, effective study help to carefully place facts into your memory. This is the best way to prepare for any test.
  • However, teachers often try to test your memory of the material by slightly altering it. In this case, practice and some test-taking skill will help.

Always arrive early and take a moment to relax and reduce your anxiety. 
  • This brief time period will boost your confidence.
  • Use this time to focus your mind and think positive thoughts. 

Listen attentively to last-minute instructions given by the instructor.
  • Teachers often make-last minute changes.
  • Missing instructions can cause anxiety.

Read the test directions very carefully and watch for details. 
  • You may find that more than one answer may be possible on multiple choice tests.
  • A key detail may require that you choose only three out of the five essay questions.

Plan how you will use the allotted time. 
  • Estimate how many minutes you will need to finish each test section.
  • Determine a pace which will ensure completing the whole test on time.
  • Start with the easiest section to build your confidence.

Maintain a positive attitude. 
  • Don't let more difficult questions raise your anxiety and steal your valuable time. Move on and find success with other questions.
  • Avoid watching for patterns. Noticing that the last four answers are "c" is not a good reason to continue with that pattern.

Rely on your first impressions. 
  • The answer which comes to mind first is often correct.
  • Nervously reviewing questions and changing answers can do more harm than good.

Plan to finish early and have time for review. 
  • Return to difficult questions you marked for review.
  • Proofread your essays and pay attention to grammar and spelling.
  • Make sure you answer all the questions. Don’t forget to check for questions on the back side of the paper.

Consider every test a practice session - analyze your performance. 
  • Test taking is an art which needs refinement. One cannot refine the art without practice and serious evaluation.
  • Go through each test thoroughly and see if your plan worked.
  • Identify your fault patterns. Do you need to work on true/false, multiple choice, or essay questions?
  • Talk to teachers regarding low scores, especially on essays.

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