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Strategies for Test Taking

Test Preparation

Strategies for preparing for and analysing tests

Before a test During a test After a test
Arrive early, with necessary writing and test-taking materials such as calculator, essay booklet, “scantron” form Before you look at the test, jot down any information you don't want to forget. After taking the first test in a class, you can gain insights that will help you prepare for future tests. Try the yellow and blue highlighter technique:
Practice relaxation techniques while waiting: deep breathing, muscle relaxers. Read all of the directions carefully. Know exactly what you need to do. Ask your professor if you are unclear. Conduct an analysis of your test, to determine how to improve your performance on the next one.
Get a good night's sleep Review the test quickly to determine how to schedule your time, based on number of questions and points allocated for each section.
Example: If you have 50 minutes to complete a 100 multiple choice question exam, you have 30 seconds per question.
Exercise in the evening or morning Allow for a few minutes to review your test after you have completed it.  
Eat well the morning of your test. Put most of your time into the sections with the most points.  
  Begin with the easiest parts of the test. If you come to a question you don't know, mark it and move on. Come back to it later. Answering other questions may trigger your memory to retrieve the correct answer.  
  Check for questions you left blank, spelling, etc. Change only those answers you are reasonably sure are incorrect. Do not change a guess. More often a guess is correct and the correction is not.  

Test–Taking Strategies for true/false, objective, and essay tests

See how you do before and after learning and practicing the test taking strategies with this practice test.

Yellow Blue Highlighter Technique

  1. Before a test, create questions in your notes or text that you believe could be on the test.
  2. With a yellow high lighter, mark the questions you anticipate your professor might ask.
  3. After the test, use a blue high lighter to mark those questions that were on the test.

The more green you have, the more you and your professor think alike – thus making your test preparation more effective.