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Test Day

Strategies for Success


Eat and drink wisely on the morning or day of the test. Make sure you don't go into the test hungry. Hunger can interfere with your concentration, and so can the noise of a rumbling stomach. Don't create an unnecessary and unfortunate distraction!

Along similar lines, feel free to have some caffeine if you like it, but don't drink too much just before the test! Than can cause another sort of distraction.

Don't forget to wear a watch. You'll need to keep an eye on the minute hand while you're testing.

Arrive early to the classroom. Give yourself time to relax and reflect for several minutes before the test begins.

Look over the entire test as soon as you receive it. Take time to evaluate the test, in order to determine how much time you should spend on each section. For instance, if you find a multiple choice section followed by two large essay questions, be sure to give yourself enough time for the essays. Assign a time limit to each section. You can always go back if you finish early.

Pay close attention to directions. Read them twice, if possible. Don't make assumptions.

For multiple choice questions, try to answer the question before looking at your choices. If you're right, one of the choices will match your answer.

Tackle the easy questions first. Skip over any questions you're not sure about. Sometimes answers come clear to you later, after you take a second look at the question. (Sometimes, the answers even appear in the essay question or elsewhere!)

Every time you skip a question, be sure to mark it. How many times have you left an answer blank by accident? Ouch--what a waste. Be sure to make a star beside questions if you skip them. Don't leave any blanks.

For defining terms, concentrate on themes and chapter titles. If you're facing a list of terms to define and you're unsure about a few, think back to major themes (usually found in chapter titles). Ask yourself: where might that term have appeared? Take a guess if you're not sure. You may get partial credit if you're close.

Stay positive! If you start to doubt yourself, you may go blank. Keep concentrating on your strengths.

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