Test-Taking Tips

With final exams right around the corner, every student should be aware of these simple, yet effective, test-taking strategies.

Bring at least two pens/pencils with good erasers, a calculator with enough batteries and any other resources that your instructor allows you to.

Bring a watch to the test so that you can better pace yourself.

Keep a positive attitude throughout the whole test and try to stay relaxed. If you start to feel nervous take a few deep breaths to relax.

Keep your eyes on your own paper, you don’t want to appear to be cheating and cause unnecessary trouble for yourself.

When you first receive your test, do a quick survey of the entire test so that you know how to efficiently budget your time.

Do the easiest problems first. Don’t stay on a problem that you are stuck on, especially when time is a factor.

Do the problems that have the greatest point values first.

Pace yourself, don’t rush.   Read the entire question and pay attention to the details.

Ask the instructor for clarification if you don’t understand what they are asking for on the test.

Write legibly. If the grader can’t read what you wrote, they’ll most likely mark it wrong.

Always read the whole question carefully. Don’t make assumptions about what the question might be.

If you don’t know an answer, skip it. Go on with the rest of the test and come back to it later. Other parts of the test may have some information that will help you out with that question.

Don’t worry if others finish before you. Focus on the test in front of you.

If you have time left when you are finished, look over your test. Make sure that you have answered all the questions. Only change an answer if you misread or misinterpreted the question because the first answer that you put is usually the correct one. Watch out for careless mistakes and proofread your essay and/or short answer questions.

Lastly, double check to make sure that you put your first and last name on the test.