A Learning Enhancement
Coconino Community College
In This Workshop:
Getting psychologically and
Test taking tips
What to do before, during, and after
Getting Psychologically Ready
Study at least a week in advance and
review several days before the test.
Do not engage in negative talk about the
test with anyone.
Interact with students who are working
hard to succeed just prior to the test.
Remind yourself of your long-term goals.
Be confident and believe you will do well.
Positive thoughts reduce anxiety and
Negative thoughts actually hinder
your performance on tests, even
when you are well-prepared!
Positive and Negative Self-Talk
I’m going to do well on this test. I am only
competing with myself. I’m prepared, and I
know the material well.
I’m going to fail.
This class is worthless.
Stop Negative Thoughts!
Each time you have a negative
thought, first recognize it, and then
counteract it with a positive thought.
Eventually, if you practice this, you
will automatically think positively.
Getting Physiologically Ready
Get plenty of rest, especially several days
before the test.
Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals before
the test. Limit you intake of junk food--
sugar and caffeine give big energy highs
and lows. Carbohydrates provide sustained
Drink plenty of water--this allows brain cells
to function better.
Weeks before the test, do what is
necessary to make sure you’re in
good health for the test.
Avoid stressful situations (arguments
or rushing) just prior to the test.
Plan to get to the test site a few
Sit where there are few distractions.
General Test Taking Strategies
Read over the whole test before answering
Determine approx. time each item will take.
Answer the questions you’re sure of first.
Change an answer only if you’re sure it’s
Don’t worry about being the first or last to
Bring a watch, pencil, and scrap paper.
Try to answer the questions before you
read the options.
Cross out options you know are incorrect.
Mark all negatives (no, not) and prefixes
(un-, in-, non-)...if misread, these can seem
like trick questions.
Mark qualifiers (always, never, rarely,
must, often)...these are often
Look for statements where one part
may be true and another part false:
“As a representative of baroque
composers, Beethoven’s music had a
significant impact on later
FALSE: Beethoven had an impact on
later composers, but represented the
Read all the items in each column
Match all the pairs you know are
Cross out the items as you match
Reread the items and match up the
Check your answers.
Fill in the answers you’re sure of first,
then review the entire test:
Clues to the answers you’re not sure
of might be contained within other test
Try not to leave anything blank...use
your best guess.
Underline key words in the question,
Outline answers to organize your thoughts.
Be concise-avoid flowery language.
Be neat: write legibly, skip lines, clearly
label questions, indent paragraphs.
Attend an LEC workshop on writing for
If you have to guess…
Choose the longest, most complete
Choose the middle value in a series
Choose the middle option in a list.
If two options are similar to each other and
different from the rest, one of the similar
answers is probably correct.
Example: When a river is in flood,
a. velocity increases and discharge
b. velocity increases and discharge
c. sediment load decreases.
d. the floodplain is high and dry.
The correct answer is either
a or b since they are similar,
and the others are not.
Look for grammatical errors while reading
the question with each of the options in it.
Example: Marine gastropods live in an
a. clear, warm water environment.
b. anaerobic, muddy water environment.
c. wave-washed, surf environment.
d. tide pool environment.
The answer is b. That is the
answer that is
grammatically correct when
matched with the word “an”
at the end of the original
Before the Test
Use positive thinking to overcome
Ask your instructor what type of
questions will be on the test (T/F,
Study with a classmate or in a study
Plan to reward yourself after taking
During the Test
Practice positive self-talk.
Apply the test-taking strategies you’ve
After the Test
Go over the completed test ASAP.
Congratulate yourself on the
questions you got right.
Identify the problems you had, and fill
in the correct answers.
Make a plan for improvement on
Resources Available in the LEC
Tips for test-taking software
Study skills videos
Books on college study skills
More workshops on computer and in
Free learning assistance
The Learning Enhancement Center is
designed to serve the students of
CCC. We are eager to be a
facilitator of successful learning.
Please let us know what your
needs are, and we will design ways
to meet them. Thank you for
attending this workshop.