Prepare early: Prepare for tests and examinations from the very first day of the course, when the teacher outlines the course and the expectations of the course. Keep your notes complete and review them as the course goes along.

Clarify expectations: Be sure that you know the details about the test or the exam. Questions like, What subject is it based on? How many questions will there be? What format will be used? How much time will be given? Listen carefully when the teacher explains.

Observe and question: Observe your teacher throughout the class to see what he or she considers to be important. Ask questions as you read, take notes, and review chapter material. Save questions, quizzes, and activity sheets. You can use those for review in the future.

Review: Start reviewing chapters and notes before class. Review notes after class consistently as the course progresses and the notes increase. A week or so before the exam or test, commit a generous amount of time to review notes, texts, and supplementary materials. Always summarize what you have learned in preparation for your final study time.

Use a study team: Gather some time too with a study team to exchange notes, make up questions and summarize chapters.

Get organized: As soon as you get the test, be sure to organize yourself. Browse through the test; review the questions that will take you to answer quickly and the ones that will take more time. Pace yourself according to the time allowed.

Move quickly: Move through the test. Don’t panic if you don’t know an answer. Move on and answer the questions that you do know. Rephrase questions that you are having trouble with, write down what you do know, and then come back to it.

Re-read, recheck, rethink: Once you have finished your test/exam, read it over again and check for careless mistakes and spelling errors. If you have extra time left over, add points to essay questions or fill in other details.

Test Taking Strategies

Reflect on the purpose: Tests provide feedback on what you have mastered throughout the course. They do not measure your self-worth, your intelligence or your ability to contribute to society.test-preparation-1

Distance yourself: Distance yourself and do not exaggerate the pressure of test taking. Look for solutions, not problems.

Be prepared: The best way to control test anxiety is to go to every class, review your notes, and don’t forget to study in advance. Work smarter, not harder.

Join a study team: Join a study team and draw strengths, ideas, support and commitment from each other. Develop a team and study together to reduce anxiety.
Practice: Make up questions and test yourself and your classmates, if they are willing. When you go over and rehearse a stressful event, your mind does not see it as a fearful unknown.

Exercise: The day before the test, go for a long walk or jog. Exercise is good for reducing stress.

Pace yourself: Last minute cramming creates a hectic climate and increases anxiety. Make your test day relaxing and peaceful by having everything prepared, getting up in time for breakfast, and getting to class early.

Breathe and relax: Deep breathing is calming and increases the oxygen supply. Take a deep breath, hold it for two-three seconds, and then breathe out slowly through your mouth. Relax your muscles by systematically progressing down your body, tensing and releasing each group, until you have curled and released your toes.

Imagine success: From the time you wake up until right before the test, it is important to create a positive state of mind. See yourself as calm, confident and recalling information easily.

Use self-talk: Tell yourself that the test or exam is a great opportunity to indicate what you already know. Make sure that you only use positive self-talk.

Focus: Focus on the subject. Think only about answering the questions.

Be objective: After the test, look objectively at how you did. Look at the results and prepare for the next time.

author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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