- Be As Well As You Can Be:
Get a good night's sleep the night before you take a test. For 24 hours before the test, avoid eating foods that disagree with you.
- Read the Questions Carefully:
Many answers are missed because the question was not completely read or was misread. "NOT" is the most commonly misread word. When answering an essay question, reread the question several times to make sure you are staying on-topic.
Read each question in order, answering the ones that you know easily in your first reading, When you get to the end of the test, pause, relax, stretch, close your eyes and clear your mind for a minute or two; then begin the test again. Begin your "second sweep". Reread the questions that you were not able to answer the first time. After you have answered all questions, if you have time, you can skim all the questions and answers one last time. Don't change an answer unless you are absolutely certain. Most changed answers are not as good as the orginal ones.
- Scratch Paper:
Unless you are specifically told not to, you can assume that it is acceptable to write on your test paper. To help yourself focus on the task at hand, you may:
If you are told that you should not be writing on the test, ask for a piece of scratch paper, and use that instead.
- Circle the numbers of the questions that are difficult for you to answer so that you can identify them for your "second sweep".
- Underline key words that will help you answer the question.
- Write down pieces of information that you are sure you will need but are afraid of forgetting during the test.
- When You Don't Know Guess:
The one exception to this is when you will be penalized for a wrong answer. For most tests, an unanswered question and an incorrectly answered question are scored the same. If they are scored the same and you leave the answer blank, you have no chance of being right at all; but if you guess you at least have a chance.
- True - False:
If ANY part of a true - false question is false, select "false."
Watch for words like "always" and "never", they most likely indicate a false answer. Do your best to think of exceptions to "always" and "never".
- Multiple Choice:
Make sure to note whether or not there may be multiple answers. Words like "select all that apply" suggest there may be more than one answer.
- State Specific Memory:
State-specific memory is a term used in psychology that means you remember something best when you are in the same state of mind as when you were exposed to it.
For optimum results in testing, try to be in the same mental state when you study as you will be when you are tested. Don't drink lots of coffee to take the test if you didn't do so when you were studying.