EFFECTIVE TEST TAKING STRATEGIES By Dr. Barbara Foltz Office of Academic Assistance Furman University TIPS IN GENERAL Best Tip of all: STUDY! And schedule your study time so you don’t have to cram the night before Have a positive attitude—practice positive self talk GENERAL TIPS, CONT. Consider the test as an opportunity— you have studied hard and now you get to show what you know. Visit with your professor ahead of time to ask what areas to emphasize in your studying TIPS IN GENERAL, CONT. “Psych Out” tests by generating possible test questions from the reading assignments and notes. Do this with a group of classmates to generate more questions! Best way to study is through focused attention on the subject matter & rehearsal. GENERAL TIPS, CONT. Remember—we remember our own words much more than anyone else’s— so outline your chapters, rewrite your notes, recite out loud, etc. Study groups—studying w/others has been shown to be very effective. MULTIPLE CHOICE TESTS Remember question consists of stem (the question), a correct (or best) answer, and “distractors”. Try to answer the question before looking at answer options Answer easiest questions first. Go back to more difficult after you have had a chance to “warm up”. MULTIPLE CHOICE, CONTINUED Terms such as all, always, completely, never, only (absolutes) generally are not the correct option Two options which are opposite in meaning: one is usually the correct answer Longest options tend to be the right answer! TRUE-FALSE QUESTIONS Again, absolutes such as all, always, never, and only tend to be false Moderate qualifiers (sometimes, often, etc.) tend to be true SHORT ANSWER/SENTENCE COMPLETION WORK QUICKLY—FOR THESE QUESTIONS THE RIGHT ANSWER OFTEN “POPS” INTO YOUR HEAD PROVIDE AS MUCH ACCURATE DETAIL AS POSSIBLE MATCHING QUESTIONS ANSWER THE QUESTIONS YOU ARE SURE OF FIRST, THEN CROSS OUT THE ITEMS YOU HAVE USED. THIS NARROWS THE FIELD OF POSSIBLE ANSWERS GO BACK TO MATCHING SECTION AFTER YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE REST OF THE TEST—SOMETIMES YOU LEARN ANSWERS AS YOU COMPLETE OTHER SECTIONS OF THE TEST. ESSAY BE SURE TO WRITE SOMETHING! PAY ATTENTION TO HOW THE QUESTIONS IS WORDED—COMPARE, DESCRIBE, CONTRAST. BE SURE TO DO WHAT IS REQUESTED START WITH YOUR STRONGEST IDEAS FIRST—MAKERS A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION AS YOUR PROFESSOR GRADES YOUR EXAM ESSAY, CONTINUED BEFORE YOU WRITE OUT YOUR ANSWER, QUICKLY OUTLINE IT IN THE MARGIN. YOUR ESSAY WILL BE BETTER, AND YOUR PROFESSOR CAN SEE YOUR IDEA DEVELOPMENT. ALSO, IF YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO COMPLETE THE ESSAY, YOU’LL STILL GET CREDIT FOR YOUR IDEAS PREDICTING TEST QUESTIONS LOOK AT CHAPTER HEADINGS, MARGIN NOTES, ETC. THESE IDENTIFY THE MAIN POINTS IN CLASS, NOTICE WHAT PROFESSOR EMPHASIZES—EITHER BY VOICE TONE, WITH AN EXAMPLE, AUDIO VISUAL, ETC. CLASS SESSIONS RIGHT BEFORE TEST— PROFESSOR HAS PROBABLY ALREADY WRITTEN TEST, SO IS EMPHASIZING WHAT IS COVERED IN QUESTIONS PREDICTING, CONTINUED PRETEND YOU ARE THE PROFESSOR— WHAT QUESTIONS WOULD YOU ASK. DO THIS WITH A GROUP—YOU’LL PROBABLY COME VERY CLOSE TO THE “REAL” TEST! MATH AND SCIENCE TESTS IMPORTANT THAT YOU UNDERSTAND “HOW AND WHY” OF THE PROCESS, SO THAT YOU CAN SOLVE SIMILAR PROBLEMS AND QUESTIONS SCIENCE—DRAW DIAGRAMS OF SYSTEMS, RELATE TO REAL WORLD MATH AND SCIENCE, CON’T MATH—UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS, AND THEN TAKE PRACTICE TESTS TO SIMULATE HOW YOU’LL PERFORM DURING TEST AND REMEMBER—PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT USE WEB SITES SUCH AS MATH.COM TO SEE HOW PROBLEM CAN BE SOLVED MATH RESOURCE CENTER, LIBRARY REFERENCE, HAVE SOLUTIONS MANUALS DEALING WITH TEST ANXIETY REMEMBER, A LITTLE ANXIETY IS NORMAL—USE IT TO “GET PUMPED” KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE, THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO SHINE, AND YOU HAVE DONE YOUR BEST ARRIVE WELL RESTED, WELL- NOURISHED, A LITTLE EARLY HAVE ALL THE NECESSARY MATERIALS— CALCULATOR, SHARPENED PENCILS, ETC. FIND A SPOT IN THE ROOM WHERE YOU ARE FAIRLY COMFORTABLE TEST ANXIETY, CON’T. MONITOR YOUR SELF-TALK—BE POSITIVE IN WHAT YOU SAY TO YOURSELF—”YOU CAN DO IT, YOU’RE BRIGHT!” VISUALIZE YOURSELF DOING WELL AND REACHING YOUR GOALS DON’T TALK ABOUT THE TEST WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE NEGATIVE, OR VERY NERVOUS—ANXIETY IS CONTAGIOUS!!! PRACTICE RELAXING, AND IF YOU FIND YOURSELF GETTING TENSE, TAKE A FEW DEEP BREATHS AND THEN FOCUS ON THE TASK AT HAND TEST ANXIETY, CONT. READ OVER ENTIRE TEST, START WITH THE EASIEST QUESTIONS JUST FOCUS ON THE TEST, NOT THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT DOING WELL IF YOU DON’T KNOW AN ANSWER, MARK IT, AND GET BACK TO IT LATER—THE ANSWER MAY COME TO YOU! ESSAY TEST: JUST JOT DOWN WHAT YOU KNOW IN MARGIN—IT MAY TRIGGER YOUR MEMORY OF THE WHOLE PROBLEM! REWARD YOURSELF WHEN IT’S OVER—YOU’VE DONE THE BEST YOU CAN!
Pages to are hidden for
"EFFECTIVE TEST TAKING STRATEGIES"Please download to view full document