Test Taking Strategies

College exams can be stressful, especially if you are taking a test that will determine your future career. Fortunately, there are many methods that can help you calm down and focus on taking the actual test. Follow these tips to master your college test taking.

Before the Testtest-taking

Before the test, pay attention in class, complete all of your assignments on time, ask questions, and take thorough notes. If you take time to learn as you go, you won't have to cram information into your brain at the last minute. When you're reading through chapters of your textbook, go over the most important details and ask yourself questions to make sure you understood what you read. Ask your instructor what kinds of questions will be on the test,  and make up your own for practice.

When it's test time, arrive as early as you can to get a seat and organize your materials. Bring everything you think you'll need like pencils, pens, paper, books, or a calculator. When you get the test location, look the test over to review the questions and determine time limits you need to put in place to complete everything. Read all of the directions carefully before you begin and ask your professor to clarify any instructions that don't make sense to you. It might help to write down anything you don't want to forget in the margins or on a piece of scrap paper.

Objective Tests

For objective tests like multiple choice questions, go with your first instinct. Then, think about what the question's asking and whether or not your answer fits. Don't try to find a trickier answer or think of a reason why your first instinct is probably too straightforward. Your instructor is likely testing your knowledge, not trying to fool you into choosing the wrong answer.

Essay Tests

With essay tests, it helps to read the questions carefully and put it into your own words to make sure you really understand what it's asking. Answer the questions you know before you take time to think about the ones you don't. Outline all of your answers on a scrap piece of paper like you would with a regular essay. When you're done writing, proofread what you wrote. Once you pass it in, you can fully relax knowing you tried your best.

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