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Test Taking Strategies for Test Day Presented by the Academic and Career Advisement Center Adapted from Colleen Gaffney
Plan of Action • • • Preview the test. Plan how you will use your time. Notice important words. Rephrase questions. Check your work. Review the test before handing it in.
Preview • Carefully read the directions to each section. – – You want to be sure that you are following the directions exactly as they are written. If you have questions, ask the professor. • What type of questions are on the test? – Short answer and essay tests often have more detailed directions than multiple choices exams. • How many points is each question worth? – – Where should you place priority? What should you complete first? • Do you answer directly on the test or on a separate sheet? • Always check BOTH SIDES…there may be questions on the back side.
Use Your Time • How much time do you have to complete the entire test? • How many questions are on the test? • How much time can you spend on each question? • Extra pencils/pens? • Try to strategize with your time. – – – Easy question? Less time needed. Tough question? More time needed. Lots of questions? Keep an eye on the clock.
Important Words • Simple – – – Name List Define Answers are usually straight forward, and often rely on memorization. You are not asked to analyze or think critically. • Complex – – – – Discuss Describe Outline Compare/Contrast Summarize These types of questions test your application of concepts. They require more critical thinking, and answers require development of ideas. You are attempting to show your multi-level understanding of material. • Other – – Never Most Not These are usually found on multiple choice exams.
Rephrase huh? • Underline/circle important words in the directions. • Reread the directions or questions to make sure they are clear. • If need be, try to rephrase the question in a manner that you can better understand. • Be careful that your rewording does not cause you to answer incorrectly. • You want to avoid “over-thinking” questions. That can sometimes lead to more confusion. • If you are unsure, always ask the professor for clarification.
Check Yourself • Concentrate on the test. – – – Avoid potential distractions. Don’t worry about other students in the room. Focus on the questions. • Keep an eye on the time. Strategize! – – – Answer the easiest question(s) first. Return to difficult question(s). Use all of the time allotted. • Avoid the avoidable. – – – Simple mistakes… 2+2=5? Does one answer contradict another? Did you miss any questions? • Review…Review… – – – Take one final look at the test, just to be sure. Complete any items you’ve overlooked. Avoid changing answers…unless you are certain that you need to make a correction.
Good Luck! This Power. Point presentation is the property of Northern Michigan University’s Academic & Career Advisement Center. It may not be reproduced without written consent. www. nmu. edu/acac