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College Test Taking From time to time, you will be called upon to “show what you know!” in the arena of Testing. What follows is information designed to aid you in doing your very best… YES! NO! First & Foremost… Put the test in perspective.

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College Test Taking

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college test taking
College Test Taking
  • From time to time, you will be called upon to “show what you know!” in the arena of Testing.
  • What follows is information designed to aid you in doing your very best…



first foremost
First & Foremost…
  • Put the test in perspective.
  • Of course, you want to do your best, but remember:
    • This test is not the end of the world, all you are doing is putting marks on a piece of paper or on a computer screen.
    • Be prepared. Relax.
    • Know that you will pass the test with flying colors.


planning your approach
Planning Your Approach
  • Prepare physically for the exam.
  • Prepare mentally for the exam.
  • Find out about the test.
  • Know what is expected of you.
  • Design an exam plan.
  • Join a study group.
  • Use tutoring and other campus support resources.
tips for taking tests
Get a good night’s sleep, eat a hearty breakfast.

Bring necessary supplies to class.

Relax and control your breathing.

Begin by previewing the entire test.

Ask any questions regarding the instructions.

Don’t linger on hard questions – move on.

Don’t get distracted by others finishing before you.

Ask for clarification when necessary.

Use clues in the test to jog your memory.

Re-check your work before handing it in.

Tips for Taking Tests

Before all else!

Be Prepared!

aids to memory
Aids to Memory

Ah, yes,I remember

it well.

  • Over-learn the material—go over it again and again.
  • Use multiple senses—read, discuss, draw.
  • Categorize the information.
  • Use mnemonics.
  • Associate ideas to things you already know.
  • Visualize the concepts.
  • Use flash cards.
  • Use rhymes, songs, and acronyms.
don t let it get to you control your test anxiety
Don’t let it get to you:Control Your Test Anxiety
  • Manage your pre-test time wisely.
  • Re-program: Talk positively to yourself.
  • Eat well & get some exercise.
  • Don’t use drugs in an attempt to reduce anxiety. Better to do breathing exercises.
  • Find support: a friend, a tutor or an instructor.
  • Keep the test in perspective.
  • Know that you are ready!

It’s only a test.

Chill out!

know what to expect be ready
Know What to Expect: Be Ready!
  • Will you be able to sit in your usual seat?
  • Will your instructor be present?
  • Ask your instructor questions that will clarify circumstances surrounding the exam: when? How long? How many questions?
  • What will be the format of the test?
  • What do students who completed the course before you say about tests?
  • What will security be like?
  • Are you penalized for guessing?


Knowledge is power!

avoid cramming for tests
Avoid Cramming for Tests



  • Regularly check the syllabus or calendar highlighting exam dates.
  • Make a study plan for each exam.
  • Keep up with assigned readings
  • Review class notes regularly.
  • Reward yourself for preparing productively.
  • Plan to reserve the night before for concentrated study.
  • A little at a time is much better than all at once.
but if you have no choice cram strategically
But If You Have No Choice, Cram Strategically

Ideas for last-minute concentrated study:

  • Clear the decks: no distractions.
  • Use textbook study aids.
  • Skim for highlights & main ideas.
  • Divide and conquer: one thing at a time.
  • Bring required academic supplies.
  • Bring supplies for your spirit: candy, gum,


  • Organize your resources.
  • Get some sleep.




strategies for various tests
Strategies for Various Tests

Should I or shouldn’t I ?

  • One strategy that works for almost all tests:
    • If an answer comes quickly, go with it!
    • If you’re really not sure, come back to it later.
  • Otherwise, different tests have different strategies:
    • Objective tests
    • Subjective tests
objective subjective tests
Objective tests include

multiple choice



fill in the blank

Subjective tests

Short answer

Essay questions

Good study strategies include:

using flash cards

making a concept vocabulary list

reviewing your text’s study guide

reviewing your notes

work with a tutor

join a study group

Objective & Subjective Tests

Apply yourself diligently!

multiple choice strategies
Multiple Choice Strategies
  • Read the question carefully and try to answer it before you read the choices.
  • Strike out wrong answers.
  • Mark answers clearly and consistently.
  • Change answers cautiously. Beware of second-guessing yourself.
  • Read all the options before making a choice.
  • If you don’t know an answer, move on.
  • If all else fails, make an educated guess!!






true false strategies
True-False Strategies
  • Read the question carefully.
  • Go with your hunch.
  • Watch for key words:
    • Absolutes (never, etc.) are probably false
    • Relatives (some, etc.) are probably true
    • Double negatives – not untruthful, etc.
  • If a part of it is false, all of it is false.
  • Answer all questions unless there isa penalty for guessing.



Remember: There is no in-between.

fill in the blank strategies
Fill-in-the-Blank Strategies

And the magic word is _______ I knew it all the time!

  • Read thoroughly to be sure what is being asked.
  • Be brief and specific.
  • Give an answer for every blank.
  • Short blanks may have long answers and vice versa. Don’t assume anything.
  • Remember an “a” before a blank wants a consonant word and “an” a vowel word.
  • Watch for key “trigger” words.
short answer strategies
Short Answer Strategies
  • These questions demonstrate how well you can explain concepts briefly.
  • Write clear, logical, and brief answers.
  • Writing more than asked for or including information not asked for suggests that you do not understand the concepts.
  • Other items on the test may provide clues to help you answer questions that stump you.




essay question strategies
Read the question carefully.

What is the question asking for?

Outline the key ideas.

Refer specifically to the question in your opening sentence.

Make a clear, coherent thesis statement.

Develop the main body of the essay to support your thesis statement.

Conclude by summarizing how your thesis is supported.

Watch grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Use humor if it fits in.

Be sure you have completely answered the question.

Write legibly.

Proofread your work.

Essay Question Strategies

You can do it!

okay you flunked it now recover your balance
Okay, you flunked it!Now recover your balance.
  • Don’t let yourself become undone by one failure.
  • Use the disappointment to critically think about
    • the causes of the poor performance
    • crafting new strategies to improve your situation.
  • Begin by reviewing your test results.
  • Talk to your instructor or a tutor.
knowing when to challenge
Knowing When to Challenge
  • Check to see that your grade has been calculated correctly.
  • Identify questions that were not clearly written.
  • Ask for a grade change if
    • you believe the instructor misunderstood you
    • the instructor made a actual error in calculating your score.
  • Remember, instructors are unlikely to change a grade without good reason.

Sure, I’ll look at it. We all make mistakes.

handle emergencies honestly
Handle EmergenciesHonestly
  • Sometimes life gets in the way of test taking. Illness, sick children, and car accidents can and do happen to interfere with your ability to take an exam at its scheduled time.
  • Call your instructor before the test to explain your situation.
  • Ask if you can take a make-up exam in a courteous and respectful manner.
  • Be prepared to document the cause of your absence.
tempted to cheat resist the impulse
Tempted to cheat? Resist the Impulse

Cheating can have ugly consequences:

  • Cheaters struggle with a nagging conscience, self-doubt, dissatisfaction, and guilt.
  • Humiliation results if you get caught.
  • You may, at least, receive a “0” on your exam, or possibly be expelled from the college or university.
  • Professors who catch you cheating may spread the word and refuse to write letters of recommendation, ruining chances for graduate study or participation in special programs.
  • And remember the person you cheat the most is yourself.

Honesty is always the best policy!

finally one more time the big three
Finally, one more time:The Big Three
  • Be prepared!
  • Relax!
  • Know you can do it!

Yes, you can!