Tips for Tests

Posted by on Apr 19, 2018 in Education

It’s springtime, and you know what that means: it’s standardized test season again! btw can’t take the test for you, but what we can do is share with you some hints to help you do your best on testing day.

Students taking test in class

Students taking test in class
Credit: Eric Audras/PhotoAlto/Getty Images

Take Your Time

Most standardized tests come with time limits, which encourage students to rush. But one of the best things you can do to improve your score is to take your time. Read all of the directions carefully. Make sure you don’t miss a page. Budget your time wisely, by dividing the allotted time by the number of questions you’ll have to answer, to get a sense of how much time you can spend per question. Periodically check to make sure you are on track. If you are stuck on a question, mark or star it to return to later. If you have extra time remaining at the end, use it to go back and double-check your answers. Also, make sure that your answers line up with the questions.

Multiple-Choice Questions

For many students, these are especially tricky. Start by reading all of the possible choices (even if you’re pretty sure you already know the correct answer). If you’re not certain of the answer, eliminate all of the choices which you know to be false. Then make an educated guess.

Reading Comprehension Questions

You’ve heard it before: it really does help to take a moment to study the questions before you read the passage. That way, you’ll have a much better idea of what to look for as you’re reading. Also, scan for illustrations and captions, which may enhance your understanding of what you read. Make notes as you go, underlining key words and important passages.

Essay Questions

First off: find a way to organize your thoughts. A rambling answer is unsuccessful. Instead, take a moment to jot down an outline, web, list, or other graphic organizer to help you get your thoughts in order. Then re-read the question, to make sure that you haven’t strayed from the main point. Finally, stick close to your organizer as you write. Don’t go off on a tangent. Remember that your topic statement should basically restate the question.

Math Questions

Once again, reading carefully is key. Make sure to address all parts of a question. Take the time to write clearly and to show your work. And always double-check for careless errors.

And Above All….

Practice self-care. Try to get a good night’s sleep before the test. On the day of the test, allow yourself plenty of time to get ready for school. Eat a good breakfast. (Your best bet? A combination of protein and carbohydrates–such as apple slices and string cheese, or a piece of toast with peanut butter.)

If you can, walk or bike to school. The fresh air will increase oxygen levels to your brain, help “clear your head,” and relieve stress. Remember, taking care of yourself and keeping a healthy perspective will be your greatest tools for success!

What Do You Think?: What helpful test-taking tips can you add to this list?