Don’t Be Stressed By the Tests

Testing season is here! Do not worry, survive and thrive during testing season with the following tips:

Before the Test Tips:

  1. Get a good night’s sleep and eat a high protein breakfast. Do NOT drink energy beverages.
  • Eat an apple approximately one and a half hour before the test. A major study of foods revealed that students who ate an apple prior to taking a test improved their scores.
  1. Do NOT study right before the test. Concentrate on being calm and mentally retrieving the information you have already studied.
  2. Do NOT engage in negative talk with other students before the test, such as “I’m so nervous — I’m going to fail.” You start to believe that and you slowly give up. Eliminate those thoughts or self-talk by replacing them with a positive affirmation. Tell yourself you are doing great because you will!

During the Test Strategies:

  1. Read the directions carefully. Read the sentence stem, think of the answer, and then find it in the choices.
  2. Read the question carefully and underline negative (not, never, neither) or affirmative words (always, all only).
  3. Answer every question, but be smart about it.
  4. Before choosing, read all the options. Don’t dwell on the ones you don’t know. Mark the question, and then move on to questions you do know. Go back to the ones you marked and try again.
  5. Eliminate as many answers as you confidently can before guessing. If you have no clue about the correct answer, make an educated guess if it will not count against your score.
  • For multiple choice questions, if you do not know the answer, guess B or C. Over 50% of the time, the answer is hidden in the middle.
  1. Disregard patterns. It is probably a coincidence if a string of multiple choice answers that you know are correct are “A.”
  2. Check to make sure the scantron question number matches the test number periodically. It is very easy to get distracted and start marking the wrong test question. Stay alert!
  3. Focus on your test. Make a decision to ignore those students who finish the test before you.
  • Research shows that students who leave early usually do not score as well.
  1. Pace yourself. Most of these tests are timed. Budget your time by reading all the test questions and check off the ones you believe will take more time to answer.

Essay Tips:

  1. Make sure that you understand what the question is asking you. Circle key words and underline what the question is asking you to do
  • ATSQ: Answer The Stinking Question! Do NOT go off topic.
  1. Make an outline before writing your essay. This way your essay will be more organized and thought out.
  2. Budget your time, don’t spend the entire test time on just one essay. If you have an hour to write 3 essays, spend no more than 20 minutes on each essay, then if you have time left over at the end go back and finish any incomplete essays.
  3. If the question is asking for facts, don’t give your personal opinion on the topic.
  4. Don’t write long introductions and conclusions, the majority of your time should be spent on answering the question asked.
  5. Focus on one main idea per paragraph.
  6. If you have time left at the end, proofread your work and correct any errors.

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