There are two important parts to how to take a test. The first is basic preparation. Then there are the specific test-taking skills that will boost your score.
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How to take a test? Study, for starters. Of course there is more you can do if you want to get a higher score, and you may already know some of the following tricks. If so, consider this a refresher course. Here are some ways to score higher on the next test you take.
Test Taking Preparation
Preparation is an important and often overlooked element of how to take a test. Studies confirm that even if you have studied sufficiently, your score will be higher or lower according to how well you prepare for the test. Beginning with a good night’s sleep, here are some test-taking preparations.
– Get good quality sleep. Sleep deficiencies seem to affect response time more than accuracy, but many tests are timed, so get that sleep. Quality of sleep has been shown to be as important as the amount, so sleep well.
– Know what to expect. If you can get a sample test, or a previous version, so you know what kind of questions will be on it, you’ll be more likely to study the right things.
– Arrive on time. In general, test-anxiety is bad for test scores. Time pressure adds to test-anxiety, so avoid it by being on time.
– Stay away from nervous test-takers. Anxiety can be contagious, so don’t sit near others who are obviously stressed.
– Breath deep. Take several deep breaths and let the tension drain from your muscles.
Specific Test Taking Skills
Beyond studying and preparing, are there skills and techniques to how to take a test? Absolutely! Here are a few of them.
– Continue taking a deep breath now and then throughout the test. this helps relax you and keeps the oxygen level in your brain up.
– Focus on the question in front of you. Total involvement in one question, even for a moment, reduces anxiety. Don’t think about the other questions while working on the current one.
– Take notes at the beginning. If you are allowed to take notes, write down any information you might forget. This can be especially useful if you “crammed” for the test just before taking it.
– Try to determine the test makers intent. When an answer seems too easy, and you’re sure it’s wrong, look for a similar answer. Test makers try to catch sloppy test takers with answers that are close in appearance. Look for other clues to the test maker’s intent when you are unsure of the right answer.
– Answer all questions. Unless there is a penalty for a wrong answer (as opposed to an unanswered question), you should guess on questions you are unsure about. On multiple choice tests, eliminate as many unlikely answers as you can and pick one of the remaining ones. You might get half of these questions correct with this method.
The best way to score higher on a test may be to study. Still, no matter how much you study, you know that other factors play a role, so why not apply a bit of proper preparation and a few good test taking skills too? That is how to take a test properly.