In every student’s life, there will be a test or two. Testing has been a method for schools to measure the growth of students for decades. For many students, they can be stressful. There is pressure to do well, lots of studying to do before the day of the test, and the nervousness of sitting down and getting ready to show off what you know about the subject.
With the right preparation, tests do not have to be such an intimidating event. There are many ways students can get ready for an exam, both through learning the materials and taking care of your body. Planning over time is critical; cramming the day before the test does not help students retain the content and only adds to the stress of the day.
With that, here are top tips for students who are looking to do well on upcoming tests. Before the test, you should:
- Mark the date when you learn of it – Are you using a calendar to plan your semester? If so, mark down the date of any tests you know are coming up as soon as you learn of them. This will give you ample time to study the material.
- Study through the semester – Last minute cramming, while it may seem like a good idea, actually hurts efforts on a test. It adds to the pre-test stress and does not give a more in-depth understanding that studying bit by bit through the semester provides.
- Start the day well rested and fed – Being able to concentrate on the task at hand is essential. Tests require focus, and it is hard to focus if you are tired or hungry. Getting a good night’s sleep, and eating a healthy breakfast is just as important as learning the material if you want to do your best on the exam.
- Dress for the test – Finally, on the day of the test, wear nice clothes when you show up for the exam. Dressing well for the test boosts your confidence and clears your mind so you can focus on performing your best.
While taking the test:
- Start with the questions you know – As a way to build your confidence, and to earn the best score possible, start with the items where you know the answers. This will give you some points you know you have received and might give you some clues to other answers you do not know.
- Before you answer a question, read – Read any item thoroughly before you answer them. Make sure you understand what is being asked before you answer a question. If it is multiple-choice, read over the options and eliminate ones that do not fit before answering.
- Review your answers before handing in the test – If you have time at the end of the test, go back and look at your answers. Make sure you have addressed all the questions and review ones where you are not sure of the answers. Even on a timed test, there are no extra points for handing it in early.
Tests do not have to be intimidating! Learning the material through the semester, mentally preparing for the test, and staying calm while you are taking the exam all will help you do better when you are testing. Those improved results will help you while you are in school and after when you are getting ready to head to college. Taking the time now to learn and practice effective test-taking skills will help you through many different situations in life.