Christmas is coming and you should be feeling eager and excited, but instead you are feeling nervous and nauseated! Why? Because before Santa shows up Christmas morning with your new PS4, your Language Arts teacher is showing up in class with a big fat test! No need to panic! You got this! But there’s always room for improvement right? Even if you feel you have really studied and know all the material, if you don’t know how to take a test properly, your grade may be lower than it could have been. If you follow these 10 test taking tips for students, you can dramatically improve your test grade.
Read the directions as carefully as you read each question
Sometimes you will be asked for the statement that doesn’t fit or the answer that is least likely. If you are looking for the right answer because you didn’t pay attention to the directions, then you aren’t showing that you actually know your stuff!
Use complete sentences when you answer essay questions
It helps to begin by re-stating the question. For example if you are asked, “What are the products of photosynthesis?” you could start by saying “The products of photosynthesis are…”
Read all of the answers before choosing one
That way you can eliminate the answers you know are wrong and have a smaller number of possible right answers to choose from. Also, although one answer may seem right, another answer will be more accurate because it gives more detail.
Watch out for key words like always, never, every, no, and all
If these words show up in the answer, they are often a signal that this is not the correct answer. These types of key words tend to rule out any flexibility; for the most part, correct answers tend not to be absolute.
Wrestling to come up with an answer can not only cause you anxiety that may affect your performance on the rest of the test, but can also use up a lot of your testing time. You might be surprised how easy it is to answer the question when you come back to it. Also, you may find the answer to one question hidden in another question!
HOWEVER be aware there is a risk to skipping questions on a fill-in-the-bubble test. Many students who try to leave an answer blank end up misaligning their other answers; that is, filling in the bubbles on the wrong line, which can mess up the entire test.
Some achievement tests are testing your reasoning skills as well as your knowledge. That means that in some situations there are some answers that are better than others, but not one that is “the” answer.
On a reading test, read the questions before the paragraph
If you know what is being asked ahead of time it will help to focus your reading so that you can get the most important information the first time around.
Take an educated guess if you absolutely have to
Just make sure you’ve eliminated other possibilities first and use common sense. It’s better to put something than leave it completely blank when it’s time to turn in your test.
If you have time, check over your answers at the end of the test
It gives you a chance to fill in ones you skipped and make sure you didn’t miss any questions by mistake.
Warning! Don’t change an answer unless you’re completely certain it’s wrong. Most often, your first instinct is correct.
Once you’re done: Chill!
Don’t stress out over the test. If you’ve given it your best effort, that’s all you can do. Worrying won’t change the outcome. However, do pay attention to how that teacher puts a test together for when you get ready to study for the next test in that class.
Scan through the test before you start and answer questions in a strategic order!
Answer easy questions first to build confidence. Then answer those questions with the most point value. But remember, if you choose to do this on a bubble test, be super careful to fill in the correct line!!!!
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Article by Betty Kruszka~TheJ3Effect