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Welcome! Have some free food! Get ready to learn! Student Success Center Seminar Series Speaker: Chris Coughlin Test Taking Strategies …How to get that “A” you always wanted What will be covered..

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welcome

Welcome!

Have some free food!

Get ready to learn!

test taking strategies

Test Taking Strategies

…How to get that “A”

you always wanted

what will be covered
What will be covered..
  • Techniques for improving your test taking abilities including:
    • Physical, emotional, and mental preparation
    • Study strategies
    • Overcoming test anxiety
    • Test taking tips for the many types of tests
    • Avoiding academic dishonesty
self assessment
Self assessment

1. __ I always begin studying for an exam at least a week in advance

2. __ I usually find that my class notes are very helpful when I’m preparing for an exam

3. __ I usually study for an exam with at least one other person

4. __ I usually know what to expect on a test before I go into the exam

5. __ I study for tests by predicting possible questions and seeing if I am prepared to answer them

self assesment
Self Assesment

6. __ I predict essay questions and develop outlines of the answers

7. __ I am careful to maintain good eating, sleeping, and exercise habits before exams

8. __ If I finish an exam early or on time, I recheck my paper

9. __ I usually know that I have done well on an exam when I finish.

10. __ I seldom feel overly nervous when studying for or taking exams

exam preparation
Exam Preparation
  • Starts at the beginning of the semester
    • Talk to the instructor
      • Structure of tests
      • Time allowed
    • Time management
      • Make a schedule
physical preparation
Physical Preparation
  • Get plenty of sleep
    • Staying up late to cram the night before will impair your mental abilities
  • Get exercise
    • Aerobic activities reduce stress
    • Keeps you relaxed, positive, and provides study breaks
  • Eat right
    • Eat breakfast before an exam to give you the energy you need
emotional preparation
Emotional Preparation
  • Know the material
    • Confidence is important or doing well
  • Practice relaxation techniques
    • Go for a run
    • Sit in a quite area and take a few deep breaths
    • Do some stretches
  • Positive self-talk
    • Remind yourself that you are prepared, and will do great!
    • Self Fulfilling Prophecy
planning for success
Planning for Success
  • Find out about the test
    • Leave no unanswered questions
  • Schedule out study time
    • Leave plenty of time to prepare
  • Study Groups
    • Get a group of people together to review for tests
    • Quiz each other, teach each other
planning for success11
Planning for Success
  • Get a tutor
    • At the SSC we have tutors for most core classes
    • Get help early on
    • Go to: www.valdosta.edu/ssc

Or call: 333-7570

to schedule appointments

We are always here to help!

studying for tests
Studying for Tests
  • Make Review Sheets
    • Condense notes into units for easy management
    • Make a list of key terms for quick reference and study
  • Flash Cards
    • Great for making use of dead time (waiting for the bus, waiting for a class to start etc.)
studying for tests13
Studying for Tests
  • Write summaries of class topics
    • A good way to judge your know how is to explain what you have learned to someone else
test anxiety
Test Anxiety
  • Sources of Test Anxiety
    • Pressure to Succeed
    • Expectations of loved ones
    • Lack of preparation
test anxiety15
Test Anxiety
  • Specific or generalized
    • One test will not make or break you
    • Anxious about a specific type of test? Specific subject?
      • practice, practice, practice
test anxiety16
Test Anxiety
  • Symptoms - can manifest at different times for different people:
    • “butterflies” in the stomach
    • Feeling queasy or nauseous
    • Headaches
    • Fast heartbeat
    • Hyperventilating
    • Shaking
    • Sweating
    • Muscle cramps
test anxiety17
Test Anxiety
  • During the test
    • Experience the sensation of “going blank”
    • Undermines all test preparation
  • Severe Test Anxiety
    • If you become physically ill please seek help from a physician, campus health services, or a counselor
test anxiety18
Test Anxiety
  • Combating Test Anxiety
    • Study hard, eat right, and get lots of sleep
    • Long deep breathes, and a slow exhale
    • Stretch routines
    • Stay positive
types of tests
Types of Tests
  • Problem-Solving Tests
    • In the sciences, math, statistics, etc.
    • Show all work to avoid careless mistakes
    • Read all directions carefully
    • Double check work when done
types of tests20
Types of Tests
  • Machine-Scored Tests
    • Fill out all personal information required on answer sheet
    • Fill in each answer fully
    • Make sure the number on answer sheet corresponds to the number on the question
    • Erase stray marks
types of tests21
Types of Tests
  • Computerized Tests
    • Make sure you are comfortable with the format
    • Ask professor to clarify anything you don’t understand
    • If available, take practice tests
types of tests22
Types of Tests
  • Laboratory Tests
    • Always attend Lab!
      • This is where you practice for the exams
  • Review notes
    • Also, practice drawing any diagrams you might be required to recreate
types of tests23
Types of Tests
  • Open-Book/Open-Note Tests
    • Usually HARDER than closed-book/closed-note tests
      • Professor expects more from your answers
    • Study and organize your notes
    • Make sure you know where everything is in your book
    • Do not make the mistake of not studying, just because your book is there
      • Looking things up in your notes or book takes time!
types of tests24
Types of Tests
  • Take-Home Tests
    • Usually HARDER than in-class tests
    • Allow plenty of time to complete the take home test
    • Your professor usually expects more from your answers
    • Check with professor to find out to what extent collaboration is allowed
tips for test taking
Tips for Test Taking
  • Essay Questions
    • Budget the time
    • Read the question carefully
    • Make an outline first
    • Make answers clear, concise, and organized
    • Know the key task words
      • Examples: Compare, Analyze, Contrast, Criticize, Define, Describe, Discuss, Evaluate, Etc.
tips for test taking26
Tips for Test Taking
  • Multiple-Choice Questions
    • Read the question, and generate your own answer
    • Pick the answer that best matches your own
    • If you don’t know the answer to a question right away, narrow down your options
    • Skip questions you don’t know and comeback later. A later question might give a clue to its answer!
tips for test taking27
Tips for Test Taking
  • Fill-in-the-Blank Questions
    • If you don’t know it right away, generate a few possible answers
    • Pick the one you feel best fits the question
  • True/False Questions
    • For a question to be true, every detail must be true
    • Definite terms such as always, never, only are usually false
    • Don’t second guess yourself when a sequence of questions is all true or all false
tips for test taking28
Tips for Test Taking
  • Matching Questions
    • Review all terms and descriptions before answering
    • Match the ones you are most sure of
    • Use process of elimination to help finish
before the test
Before the Test
  • Get to class a little early
    • Make sure you have all the materials you need
    • Go to the bathroom, get a drink of water
    • Take a few deep breaths to calm yourself
when you get your test
When You Get Your Test
  • Skim over the whole test to get the big picture, schedule time accordingly
  • “Mind Dump” – On some tests it is helpful to write a few notes down of important concepts you don’t want to forget
  • When you finish don’t leave!
    • Use spare time to go back over the test to catch mistakes
after the test
After the Test
  • If your professor reviews the exam, GO TO CLASS!
    • It is helpful to hear what he was looking for and why
  • Review your test to see the mistakes you made
    • Reviewing mistakes and learning from them helps you to prepare for future tests
academic honesty
Academic Honesty
  • Types of Misconduct
    • Cheating – intentionally using unauthorized materials such as notes, study aids, the guy sitting to your left
    • Plagiarism – taking another person’s ideas and claiming them as your own.
      • When in doubt, cite it
  • Reducing likelihood of problems
    • Know the rules, Set clear boundaries with peers, seek help when needed
seek help
Seek Help!
  • Student Success Center
  • Your Professor
  • Academic Advisor
  • Counselor
  • Tutor
references
References
  • Gardner, J. N., Jewler, A. J., Barefoot, B. O. (2007) Your college experience: Strategies for success. Boston: Thomson/Wadsworth.
  • http://www.d.umn.edu/kmc/student/loon/acad/strat/test_take.html
  • http://www.bucks.edu/~specpop/tests.htm
  • http://www.studygs.net/
thanks for coming
Thanks for Coming!
  • The next installation of the SSC Seminar Series:

Date:

Time:

Place: