How to Take a Test

In my last blog I wrote about the best tips and tricks for preparing for a test. It was nothing groundbreaking, but it was solid, and will help you in your education. So now that you have adequately prepared for the test, it’s time to take the test. At this point, nothing else matters buy you, the exam, and the clock on the wall ticking down the time limit.

Here are some tips for acing those exams, photo by Casey Serin

Here are some tips for acing those exams, photo by Casey Serin

How do you maximize your chances for success? Well, here are a few pointers.

Read the whole test first – Sometimes one question will answer another; a key piece of info, a date, or a name might be given to you in one question and asked in another. So read everything first, and get a handle on what questions you have to answer.

Skip the hard ones, answer the easy ones – This is the first step. As you’re reading the test, there will be some answers you know right away. Since time management is important in exams, answer these quick questions first. If there are questions that completely have you flummoxed, skip them. Save them for last.

Ignore everyone around you – Don’t look around, it might make it seem like you are looking at other people’s tests. So forget about other people, the students and the teacher. Focus on your test, and the time you have to finish it. By blocking them out, their movements or noises won’t distract you quite as much. Don’t pay attention other finished before you, ignore them. It’s not a race, it’s a test.

Don’t Panic – Even if you are out of your depth on the exam, and realizing you didn’t study worth a darn, keep calm. Take deep breaths. Refrain from desperation, depression, or beating yourself up. There will be plenty of time for all that while waiting for your grade. For now, just focus on the task at hand.

Educated Guesses – When you have answered everything you know for certain, now you need to turn your attention to the questions you are not confident in, or flat-out do not know. Not answering a question will definitely be a wrong answer, so now you need to do your best to make an educated guess. If it’s a multiple choice test, then begin by looking at the different answers and eliminating some of them. This will increase your odds of making a good guess, if you need to guess. Work on these tricky questions, winnow down the answers as best you can, and then when time is running out, pick one.

Read it again – So now you are finished… but don’t turn it in yet. Read it over, every question, and every answer, to make sure you didn’t make any foolish errors. And why you’re at it, check your hand writing. If the grader has to struggle to read your answers, you will get a lower grade.

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