TEST-TAKING TIPS


I. General Plan

  1. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly, relax and forget about other people and what they are doing.
  2. Read the directions carefully.
  3. Look over the entire test first. Determine types of questions, how many points for each, whether you have a choice of which questions to answer.
  4. Adopt a time budget for each type of question, allowing time for checking.
  5. Answer the easiest questions first.
  6. Try to base your answers on textbook and lecture information first, not your own experience.
  7. Check the questions when you are unsure of the answer.
  8. Try to be the last to leave, not the first. Use your extra time for checking.

II. Dealing with Different Types of Questions

Essay and Short-Answer Questions

  1. Read all questions first. Note if you have a choice of which to answer.
  2. Jot down key words and major ideas as you read.
  3. Budget your time. Determine how much time you will spend on each question. Keep track of time.
  4. Begin with easiest question.
  5. Briefly outline your answer to help you organize the essay. Use the key words/majors ideas you previously noted.
  6. Cover only the points asked for in the question.
  7. Write legibly.
  8. Answer every required question. No answer = 0 credit.
  9. Leave space for corrections/additions if possible (an extra line between paragraphs, at the top & bottom of pages, etc.).
  10. Answer the question; note key words: analyze, elaborate, compare, evaluate, explain, illustrate, outline, define.
  11. Use technical terminology if appropriate.
  12. Be concise if time is at a premium.
  13. Watch spelling.
  14. Reread and polish.