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Test Taking Tips

Test Taking Tips

Taking an exam can be a harrowing experience for many people, however, there are a few tried and true principles to follow that will enable you to relax and give it your best shot. No matter what the examination subject matter may be, you can be ready, prepared and fearless on your test day.

1. Arrive Early.

One of the worst things you can do on your test day is to cut yourself short on time. You want to arrive early, collect your thoughts, steady your nerves and be sure that you get a good seat. Your instructor will give the class a brief pep talk and may have special instructions or advise to help you do well on the exam. The guys and gals that wander in at the last minute have the most to lose and do not start on an even keel with the rest of the class.

2. Comfortable Clothing.

On your test day, be sure you wear comfortable clothing that allows you a full range of motion and the ability to take deep breaths. Fashion divas have no place in the testing room, so put your comfort first to ensure that there are no binding belts, tight clothing or anything on your feet to cause discomfort.

3. Read The Questions Carefully.

Your examination may be comprised of key term definitions, multiple choice and true or false questioning. Be sure you read the exam carefully so that you do not stumble over a word that could change the meaning of the question. Most good teachers are not out to trick their students. They want you to do well, and by understanding the question before you answer can eliminate a shaky answer and set your confident tone for the rest of the exam.

4. Breathing.

The intake of oxygen is essential to clearing your mind and strengthening your ability to think. Remember to take a few deep breaths to sharpen your brain and give you clarity with the questions and answers. Many people take a deep breath through the chest cavity, which is the wrong way to go about it. Your deep breath should come from the diaphragm, meaning as you inhale, your stomach expands. As you exhale, your stomach collapses. This technique is used by athletes and singers and should be applied to your examination day for maximum oxygen intake.

5. Protein.

Be sure to eat a good breakfast consisting of natural fruits and plenty of protein. Brain foods, such as eggs, walnuts, and whole grains will help to stabilize your system and lower your stress factor. In addition, supplements such as omega-3 fish oil, lecithin, and krill are ideal to power up your cranial capacity and reduce tension and confusion. Foods to avoid are sugar, processed products and white bleached flour which can cause mood swings and disturb your brain connections.

6. Pace Your Studies.

The best way to have confidence on your test day is to know that you prepared yourself to the best of your abilities. To keep the material fresh in your mind, you may wish to make up some flashcards to keep the information current in your brain. List the key terms on index cards, with the definitions on the reverse side. This is a great way to test yourself that you are ready for the exam, and flipping through the flashcards daily will keep the subject matter in the forefront of your mind.

7. Get A Good Seat.

Now that you have studied well, you are ready to show that professor what you are made of. However, be sure that no one gets in your way on examination day. There are always students that do not take their examinations seriously, causing disruptions with talking, shuffling in their seat or trying to cheat. If you are sitting next to a chatterbox, be brave and change your seat. The last thing you want to worry about is being called out and disciplined because someone is talking to you during the exam. Don’t worry about hurting anybody’s feelings. You may never see that obnoxious student again, but your grades will follow you for life.

8. Timed Tests.

Many collegiate examinations allow plenty of time for the midterm and final. However, if your instructor has set a restrictive time limit on the exam, be sure to watch the clock and pace yourself to meet the deadline. Read through the exam and answer the questions that you are most comfortable with first. You may need to make a light pencil mark in the margin for the questions that you skipped, to be sure that you can find them quickly and give them your best shot. If there are no penalties for wrong answers, then take the last few moments of test time to fill in all the blanks.

9. Essay Questions.

In some cases, you may be asked to write your test answer in a brief essay format. Be sure that your answer is clear and concise and cannot be misconstrued by the teacher. Vague and ambiguous answers may be tempting to see if you can squeak through, but be certain your teacher is no dummy and your answers must have substance.

10. Review.

If you have extra time left when you have finished the test, there is no need to bolt from the classroom and be the first one out the door. Rather, use your time wisely and review your answers to ensure you made the right choices. Also, be sure that you have not left any blank spaces and that you have erased any notations in the margin.