Test Taking

It's Here!

  • Relax
  • Read the directions
  • Preview the test
  • Answer what you know first
  • Resist the urge to change answers
  • Don't be in a hurry to leave
  • Keep your mind on your own business
(source: College Rules!)

Multiple Choice Exams

The most important skill for taking multiple choice tests is process of elimination, said Dr. Simpson. There are usually one or two questions that you can throw out, one that you can rule out and one that distracts you. Using this process can improve your odds and your confidence.

Look at past tests and decide why you missed questions. Was it because you misunderstood the question or you are bad at process of elimination. Prep according to your weakness. If misunderstanding the question is the issue look at past questions and analyze the details and way you can solve the problem by breaking down the question. If the answer choices are the problem then it is often that you did not prepare enough. You do not know the material enough to decide between similar more detailed answer choices.

According to College Rules! it is important to watch for words such as never and always (things rarely happen never or always), skip questions you do not know and go back and never leave items blank.

Essay Exams

Before the exam College Rules! says to try to predict possible text questions. Also, as you are reviewing the test material it is important to not memorize but to understand and be able to explain it. Try to think of examples to support your arguments. It is also helpful to draw out outlines or even practice essays for the questions you think might be on the exam.

When you get to the test do a quick brainstorm and decide your main points, Simpson said. Key terms are very important. Many teachers look for particular words to pop out because they are grading so quickly. If nothing else include all of the hard facts that you know about the topic.