College Test Taking Chapter 9 • To assign a grade, professor needs to find out how much you know! test determines level of knowledge and understanding • Following information designed to aid you in doing your very best… YES! NO! Source: http://www.clt.astate.edu/rgrippo/chapter%209%20%20%20Taking%20Tests.ppt
First & Foremost… • Put the test in perspective one test will not break or break your college career. • Of course, you want to do your best, so remember: • BE PREPARED. • Know that you can pass the test with flying colors if you achieve #1 • Relax, you will do better on the test if you are not tense (again, have to achieve #1). Victory!
Planning Your Approach to Taking A Test • 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 (manage your time during test). • Join a study group (or form one yourself). • Use tutoring and other campus support resources.
Get a good night’s sleep, eat a hearty breakfast. Bring necessary supplies to class (including a watch!). Relax and control your breathing as test is handed out. 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 (ignore them do not look up!). Use clues in one part of test to jog your memory in another part. Check your answers before handing test in. Tips for Taking Tests Before all else! Be Prepared!
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! • Will you be able to sit in your usual seat (need to arrive early)? • Will your instructor be present? • Ask instructor about the test: when? How long? How many and type of questions? • What do other students say about instructors tests? • What will security be like? • Are you penalized for guessing (usually not)? ? Knowledge is power!
Avoid Cramming for Tests Not effective! • Keep up with the syllabus know 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 Ideas for last-minute concentrated study: • Clear the decks: no distractions. • Use textbook study aids (CD, websites, etc). • Skim for highlights & main ideas. • Divide and conquer: one thing at a time. • Bring required academic supplies. • Bring supplies for your spirit: candy, gum, etc. • Organize your resources. • Get some decent sleep (no more than 2 hours less than you usually sleep). Take It Easy...
Strategies for Taking Various Types of 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 (mark 1st). • Otherwise, different tests have different strategies: • Objective tests • Subjective tests
Objective tests include multiple choice matching true-false 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 • Read the question carefully and try to answer it before you read the choices. • Cross 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 and come back later. • If all else fails, make an educated guess!! • NEVER leave a question totally unanswered cannot possibly get any credit A. ? B. C. D.
True-False Strategies True? False? • Read the question carefully. • Go with your hunch. • Watch for key words: • Absolutes (never, always, 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 is penalty forguessing. Do, or Do Not. There is no Try! Remember: There is no in-between.
Fill-in-the-Blank Strategies And the magic word is _______ I knew it all the time! • Read thoroughly to be sure of 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 (underline) key “trigger” words.
Short Answer Strategies • These questions demonstrate how well you can briefly explain concepts. • 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 (points off! Dang!). • Items in other parts of test may provide clues to help you answer questions that stump you. I knew that!
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. • 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 • 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 • Sometimes life happens and things get in the way of test taking. Example: severe illness, sick children, and car accidents can cause you to miss an exam. • 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. • Know the make-up policy in advance
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. • Repercussions at ASU range from a “0” on your exam to being expelled permanently. • Professors who catch you cheating may seem to do nothing but spread the word and all professors may 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 • Be prepared! • Relax! • Know you can do it! Yes, you can!