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Useful Tips for Successful Test Preparation and Test Taking

Your ability to understand course material is usually examined through tests. The most common types of objective tests are true-false, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blank. Popular subjective tests are short answer, essay, and oral exams.

Here we list some useful tips on how to prepare and take your tests with best results:

  • Studying
    • Take legible and concise notes when you take a lesson and review them 2 times per day, every day before the test.
    • Create flash cards and quiz yourself, or have someone quiz you until you fill confident you know the material well.
    • Quiz yourself one last time before the test to keep the material fresh in your head.

  • Test Taking
    • Read directions carefully.
    • If there is time, quickly look through the test for an overview.
    • Answer questions in a strategic order. First answer the easy ones. It will build your confidence and you will score points and get a feel for the vocabulary and concepts used in the test. Then answer the difficult questions or those with the most point value.
    • When taking an objective test, first eliminate the answers you know to be wrong, or are likely to be wrong, don't seem to fit, or where two options are so similar as to be both incorrect.
    • When writing an essay or taking another type of subjective test, make a brief of your answer and list your points first.
    • Make sure you have enough room to work and maintain comfortable posture.
    • Stay relaxed and confident.
    • Do not panic. Remind yourself that you have worked hard and are well-prepared and you are going to do just fine.

  • Review
    • Do not submit your test as soon as you have completed the last question. Review your work to make sure you have answered all questions, not mismarked the answer sheet, or made some other simple mistake. Proofread your writing for spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.
    • Do not "second-guess" yourself and change your original answers. Statistics show that your first choice is more likely to be correct. You should only change answers to questions if you find out that you have originally misread them or if you have encountered information further in the test that indicates with certainty that your first choice was incorrect.

  • Analyze test results
    Each test can help you prepare better for the next one. You can see which study strategies worked well for you and which did not and need to be improved or abandoned altogether.

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