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Before You Take the Test

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You've studied for the test, and you feel prepared. So don't let a last-minute mistake ruin everything! There are certain steps you should take right before you get started on your next exam.

Check Your Supplies

Even before you step into the testing room, check to make sure you have all the supplies you’ll need to get started on your exam. Did you remember to bring at least one pencil and one pen? What about scratch paper? Do you need colored pencils or other supplies? Check while you have time to borrow or find any tools you might have forgotten.

Select a Seat

Careful seat selection can be an important factor in your test performance. If you are affected by extreme temperatures, you won’t want to sit under an air vent where cold air might stream out. If you have trouble seeing in dim light, you’ll want a seat near a window or under a light. If you need to listen to instructions, grab a seat near the front of the room. If you are easily distracted, sit away from the door or in the front where you won’t see other students fidgeting.

Write Down Hot Tips

Once you’ve put away your books and notes and the exams are passed around, you should take a moment to jot down any key words, lists, or dates that are likely to slip your mind under pressure.

Underline Key Words

Review the test for directional words like compare, contrast, analyze, comment, demonstrate, diagram, and discuss. Valuable points can be earned or lost, depending on your understanding of instructional words.

Also look for qualifier words that can change the meaning of an expression. Qualifiers are words like always, never, every, and none.

Divide Your Time

Look over the entire test to see how many questions there are in total, and which kinds of questions are included. Do a quick assessment of the amount of time you can afford to spend on each section. Are there essay questions? How many? How much time can you afford to spend on each one?

Divide your time and try to give yourself at least fifteen minutes per essay question and three minutes for each short answer question.

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