Tips for taking a test – Part 2
8. Use your time wisely
The most crucial factor in taking a test is time. You need to always be aware of the clock when taking a test. Organize your time wisely. If a test you are about to take has a value of 100 points, in which two questions are each worth 25 points and a third question is worth 50 points you would divide your time so that ¼ of the test time is spent on the 25 point questions, and half of the test time is devoted to the 50 point question. This gives you a better chance at getting a high score.
If you find that time has run out before you’ve completed the test don’t panic. Jot down the central points to those questions remaining. Putting down at lease something gives you a chance at earning at least partial marks.
You could write a note to your teacher informing them that you ran out of time. There’s a chance the teacher might be more lenient.
But do everything you can to take advantage of each minute. When answering matching questions, cross out the matches you have used so that time isn’t wasted re-reading them over and over. This is a great time saver.
9. Use pictures
It can be helpful to make sketches of a problem you are trying to solve. Draw accurate pictures in order to avoid mistakes. Diagrams can be helpful in allowing you to focus your thoughts on what you need to do to answer the question. You may find this technique helps you come up with the answer faster.
10. Show all of your work
Whenever you can you need to show your thought processes on your test answer sheet. This will not only help you to remain focused, it will also illustrate to the teacher how much you understand about the subject. Showing your work can result in extra test points. It’s even possible to get credit for wrong answers if you show your work and show some understanding about the process.
11. Don’t waste time looking for a pattern
It’s a waste of time to try and figure out a pattern to your answer sheet questions. There is almost always no pattern, and you will be wasting valuable test time. Answer each question based on the information you’ve been taught and not on the letter each question has been assigned.
There is a common myth that answering choice ‘C’ on multiple choice questions is a good strategy. This may be if you professor is making the test, however most standardized tests (like the CHSPE, COOP, HSPT, ISEE or TACHS) are now generated by computer and the choices are randomized.
12. Use creativity
The answers to test questions are not always obvious. This is possible even if you are totally prepared for a test. When you are totally stumped on a question, you sometimes need to utilize imagination.
Take a breath and think back to the material you have been studying. Consider all of the homework assignments you’ve completed in the course, as well as problems which were worked on in class. This can trigger a response to even the toughest test questions.
13. Allow yourself to take a tiny break
It’s a good idea when taking a test to allow yourself to take a short break so that you can clear your mind. It’s always best to rest before you become too tired to function at your best. Sitting back for a few seconds taking some deep breaths can give your mind a chance to recharge itself, and can allow you to carry on in a much sharper frame of mind.
14. Be neat
You have a better chance at scoring well on your test if you answer your questions neatly. Not only will the teacher have an easier time reading your writing, you will too. You’ll be able to check over your work, and you’re less likely to make mistakes.
When taking a math test, take the time to copy numbers and organize columns neatly so that you have a better chance at accurately answering the question. You may also be rewarded extra marks for neatness.
15. Write detailed answers
If you have the time make sure you answer questions with as many relevant facts as possible. The more detail you put in your answer the more you showcase how much you know on the subject and the greater the chances are that you will get full marks for the question.
Try to answer each question in the same style that your teacher presented in class. Using the same words the instructor used is fine. But if you find that you are not sure about the answer to a question, put as much information down as possible. Even if the information you put down does not specifically answer the question, you can still be awarded partial marks for your comments. This is also a great way to gain extra credit for your answers.
16. Back up your answers
You have a better chance of getting full credit for you answers if you back them up with facts. Show the teacher why you know that your answers are right. Doing this will help you build your confidence as well as allow you to protest answers to question you might have missed.
17. Look over each answer
If time allows after you have completed answering every question on the test, take a minute to relax and clear your head. Then take this opportunity to check your test one last time. Start from the first question and review through till the end. Double check that you read the question correctly and that you are confident with your answers.
Don’t ever turn in a test without reviewing it if time allows. Chances are that reviewing a test will reveal at least one mistake; Use every minute in a test period to ensure that you have answered each question to the best of your ability.
But it’s also important to note that you don’t want to change an answer unless you are positive. Typically your first ‘gut feeling’ answer is the correct one.
What to do when the test is over
Once you have completed the test, reward yourself with a treat. Go to a movie, go out to eat, or do something else that’s fun. You should associate tests with fun. Then, the next time a big test comes up, you’ll have some good memories of the outcome of your last test.
See Also – The Ultimate Guide to Test Preparation
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