This is the "Test Taking" page of the "Academic Success Skills" guide.
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Academic Success Skills  

Last Updated: Jun 27, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Test Taking Print Page

Test Preparation

Create a Study Schedule – Use your course schedule, work schedule, & personal commitments such as exercise, family time, dinner, etc. to map out your week. Schedule study sessions in small increments throughout the week for each course.  Study more frequently during small periods of time to help you retain more information & avoid cramming the night before the test.

Use Successful Study Strategies – Set a goal for what you will accomplish during your study session & actively engage with the course material through organizing notes, summarizing main concepts, re-reading text, etc. Create study aids such as concept cards, comparison charts, practice tests, etc. to organize & condense information to increase comprehension & memory.

Know What’s on the Test – What material will be covered on the test – all material covered in the semester up until the test or just the most recent chapters? What types of questions will be included on the test – multiple choice, true or false, matching, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, &/or essay questions. If you are unsure, ask your instructor!

Review Past Quizzes & Tests – Use past quizzes & tests as study aids to prepare for upcoming tests. Get comfortable with the types of questions & the format of the test. If previous tests are not provided by your instructor, meet with them to discuss test content & format.

Meet with an Expert – Schedule a meeting, drop-in during office hours, or talk to your instructor before/after class to discuss any questions or concerns you have about the test. Meet with a tutor during drop-in tutoring or sign-up for individualized tutoring in the Student Success Center to master test content.

Stick to your Routine – Major changes in your eating, sleeping, &  exercising routines can affect performance on a test. Stick to your normal routine or make a plan to accomplish healthy behaviors such as getting 8 hours of sleep, eating nutritious meals, & exercising regularly.  


Mastering Multiple Choice Questions

"To get higher marks on multiple-choice tests, follow these simple guidelines, presented by Dr. Crystal Hendrick of the University of Wisconsin-Marinette."


Mastering True or False Questions


Mastering Essay Questions

"Dr. Keith West of the University of Wisconsin-Marinette provides some tips to help you perform your best on essay tests. (Student Success Series)"


10 General Test Taking Strategies

1) Dump your Brain. Write down any important information such as formulas you do not want to forget. Use this information as a reference as you complete the test.
2) Skim Through the Entire Test. Briefly look at all questions on the test to know how to budget your time efficiently & which questions to begin answering first.
3) Carefully Read All Directions. Follow the directions to ensure you have properly answered all parts of the question.   
4) Skip any Questions You are Unsure AboutMark & skip questions you do not know how to answer. Return to any unanswered questions at the end of the test. 
5) Look elsewhere on the test for answers. The answer to a question can sometimes be found in another section's test question. 
6) Pace Yourself. Keep an eye on the clock throughout the test so you are aware of how much time you have left. 
7) Ask QuestionsIf you are confused about the wording, meaning of a question, or directions, ask your professor. 
8) Double Check Your Work. Once you have finished the test, take a few minutes to ensure you have answered all questions & followed all of the directions.
9) Trust Your InstinctsSecond-guessing can cause students to overthink the question & choose the wrong answer. 
10) Relax. Stressing out during a test causes you to panick & forget the information. Focus on staying calm. 


5 Tips to Reduce Test Anixety

1) Breathing: Take a deep breath. Count to three. Release. Repeat this breathing pattern until you feel calm.

2) Muscle Relaxation: Pick a muscle, & tense the muscle. Count to ten, & relax the muscle. Repeat this pattern or move on to another muscle.

3) Adequate Preparation: Plan to study over a longer period of time & utilize active studying strategies. Practice taking a self-made test in a similar test setting to become more comfortable. 

4) Reframe Negative Thoughts: Avoid negative thoughts about failing & being unsuccessful. Remind yourself of the hard work & effort you have put into studying. Avoid talking to classmates or friends that voice negative thoughts about failing & being unsuccessful. 

5) Visualization: Visualize yourself in a calm, relaxing environment such as the beach or the mountains. Try to  visualize yourself in the enviroment for a minute to relax, & then begin answering test questions. 


Online Test Taking Resources

Test Taking Whether you're a high school or college student, tests are unavoidable. If you take a multiple-choice exam, your strategy will be different than if you were to take an essay test. Learning proper note taking, studying and test taking strategies are a vital part of improving your grade on exams as well as your academic success.

How To Study.comLearn different test taking strategies for different types of test questions such as multiple choice, true or false, essay, short answer, etc. 

Study Guides & StrategiesAn educational public service helping learners succeed since 1996: over 10.4 million visitors in 39 languages in 2011.


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