Test Taking Tips

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Although it is essential to be immersed in the content of a test before taking it, there are equally important skills to master in order to achieve an optimal test-taking environment. Firstly, it is important that a flexible study schedule is available for a few weeks before the test, and to know what the best time during the day would be to study. Test-takers should already be familiar with the registration procedures prior to the day of the exam. Knowing details such as what kinds of identification are required, how far away the testing center is, and what time candidates are expected to arrive at the testing center is essential in order to create a stress-free testing environment.

During the test, it is important to come in with a strategy. If the test is multiple-choice, knowing how to make predictions, or reading the question and trying to guess what the answer will be, is an especially important skill to master. Test-takers' minds will immediately become cluttered with answer choices after reading them, so it is better to guess when their minds are the most focused, which is usually immediately after reading the question. Test-takers would also be wise to make sure that answer choices are not only true factually, but also answer the question. Answers that are factually true or use phrases that contain recognizable terms are two traps that need to be identified and avoided. Slang should be avoided as well; scientific sounding answers are always much better than ones that contain slang. Extreme answers that use phrases that make definitive, uncompromising stances are also not ideal.

When it comes to analyzing the questions, it is important to take the time and read the entire question. Every piece of information may be necessary to determine the correct answer, so discounting any of the information provided is not advised. Although answers will have information to throw test-takers off, none of the information in the question is there to deceive. Ignoring two seemingly unrelated topics is not advised either, because there is most likely a relationship between them that pertains to the question. Once the question has been read carefully, and the answer has been strategically selected, test-takers should take the time to go back and check their work. Hasty mistakes are found on easy questions too often.

To do well on a test, it is essential to stay calm. For test-takers, panicking when coming across a question they don't know will not help. It is a good idea to take a deep breath, and try to recall all of the test-taking strategies to answer the question. If the test is timed, letting the running clock cause anxiety will not help either. Test-takers should pace themselves. It's easy to be overwhelmed while looking at a page full of questions while the clock is ticking, but calming down and maintaining a set pace is still the best strategy. Coming into the test with a plan will make it much easier to remain calm and reach full potential.