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Test Taking Strategies

EFFECTIVE TEST TAKING SKILLS testing

Before You Begin:

 1.  Preview the test before you answer anything

 2.  Do a mind dump

 3.  Calculate how much time you should allow for each section

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Taking A Test:

 4.  Read the directions

 5.  Answer the easy questions first

 6.  Go back to the difficult questions

 7.  Answer all questions

 8.  Ask the instructor to explain any items that are not clear

 9.  Try to answer the questions from the instructor's point of view

10.  Use the margin to explain why you chose the answer

11.  Circle key words in difficult questions

12.  Express difficult questions in your own words

13.  Use all of the time allotted for the test

Before You Begin

Preview the test before you answer anything

  • This gets you thinking about the material
  • Make sure to note the point value of each question since this will give you some ideas on budgeting your time

Do a mind dump

  • Using what you saw in the preview, make notes of anything you think you might forget
  • Write down things that you used in learning the material that might help you remember
  • Outline your answers to discussion questions

Calculate how much time you should allow for each section

  • Quickly calculate how much time you should allow for each section according to the point value
  • You don't want to spend 30 minutes on an essay question that counts only 5 points

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Taking A Test

Read the directions
  • Can more than one answer be correct?
  • Are you penalized for guessing?
  • Never assume that you know what the directions say.

Answer the easy questions first

  • Get them out of the way, plus your confidence will build and give you the momentum to get through the rest of the test
    • Remember, you are sure these answers are correct!

Go back to the difficult questions

  • While looking over the test and doing the easy questions, subconsciously your mind has already started working on the solutions to the difficult questions
  • Also, later items on the test might give you useful or needed information for earlier items

Answer all questions

  • Unless you are penalized for wrong answers

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Ask the instructor to explain any items that are not clear

  • Don't ask for the answer
  • Phrase your question in a way that shows the instructor you have the information but are not sure what the question is asking for

Try to answer the questions from the instructor's point of view

  • What did the instructor emphasize and feel was important?

Use the margin to explain why you chose the answer

  • If the question does not seem clear or if the answer seems ambiguous, explain how you came to your answer

Circle key words in difficult questions

  • You will be able to focus on the central point more effectively.

Express difficult questions in your own words

  • Rephrasing can make it clear to you, but be sure you don't change the meaning of the question

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Use all of the time allotted for the test

  • If you have extra time, cover up your answers and actually rework the question
  • If you used a Scantron, make sure your answers line up between the test and answer sheets
  • Double check to make sure you haven't skipped any questions
  • For any of the questions you guessed on, go back to see if you still agree with your answer

For more tips and practice using these tips , you may want to purchase:

Practicing College Learning Strategies, 3rd Edition

By Carolyn Hopper

Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2005

ISBN: 0618333509

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