Taking Different Types of Tests
1. Listen and read carefully. Read the entire question carefully before you answer it. For the question to be true, the entire question must be true. If any part of the statement is false, the entire statement is false.
2. Pay attention to details. Read dates, names, and places carefully. Sometimes the dates are changed around (1494 instead of 1449) or the wording is changed slightly. Any changes like these can change the meaning.
3. Watch for qualifiers. Watch for such words as always, all, never, and every. The question is often false because there are almost always exceptions. If you can think of one exception, then the statement is false. Ask yourself: Does this statement overstate or understate what I know to be true?
4. Watch for faulty cause and effect. Two true statements may be connected by a word that implies cause and effect, and this word may make the statement false. For example, “Temperature is measured on the centigrade scale because water freezes at zero degree centigrade.”
5. Always answer every question. Unless there is a penalty for wrong answers, answer every question. You have a 50-percent chance of being right.
6. Trust your instincts. Often your first impression is correct. Don’t change an answer unless you are certain it is wrong. Don’t spend time pondering until you have finished the entire test and have time to spare.
1. Read the question carefully. Are you being asked for the correct answer or the best choice. Is there more than one answer? Preview the test to see if an answer may be included in a statement or question.
2. Rephrase the question. Sometimes it helps to rephrase the question in your own words. You may also want to answer the question yourself before looking at the possible answers.
3. Eliminate choices. Narrow your choices by reading through all of them and eliminating those that you know are incorrect.
4. Go from easy to difficult. Go through the test and complete those questions for which you know the answers. This will give you a feeling of confidence. Don’t use all your time on a few questions.
5. Watch for combination. Read the question carefully and don’t just choose what appears to be the one correct answer. Some questions offer a combination of choices such as. “All of the above” or “None of the above.”
6. Look at sentence structure. Make sure the grammatical structure of the question matches that of your choice.
1. Read carefully. Read both lists quickly and watch for clues.
2. Eliminate. As you match the items you know, cross them out unless the directions mention that an item can be used more than once. Elimination is the key in a matching test.
3. Look at sentence structure. Often verbs are matched to verbs. Read the entire sentence. Does it make sense?
1. Watch for clues. If the word before the blank I an, the word in the blank generally begins with a vowel. If the word before the blank is a, the word in the blank generally begins with a consonant.
2. Count the number of blanks. The number of blanks often indicates the number of words in an answer.
3. Watch for the length of the blank. A longer blank may indicate a longer answer.
4. Answer the questions you know first. As with all tests, answer the questions you know first and then go back to those that are more difficult. Rephrase and look for key words.
5. Answer all questions. Try to never leave a question unanswered.
The key to an open-book test is to prepare. Students often think that open-book tests will be easy, so they don’t study. Generally these tests go beyond basic recall and require critical thinking and analysis. Put markers in your book to indicate important areas. Write formulas, definitions, key words, sample questions, and main points on note cards. Bring along your detailed study sheet. The key is to be able to find information quickly. Use your own words to summarize. Don’t copy from your textbook.
The Essay Test
1. Organize. Organizing your notes and reading material will help you outline important topics.
2. Outline. An outline will provide a framework to help you remember dates, main points, names, places, and supporting material.
3. Budget your writing time. Look over the whole test, noticing which questions are easiest. Allot a certain amount of time for each essay question and include time for review when you’re finished.
4. Read the question carefully. Make certain you understand what is being asked in the question. Respond to key words such as explain, classify, define, and compare. Rephrase the question into a main thesis. Always answer what is being asked directly. Don’t skirt around an issue. If you are being asked to compare and contrast, you do not want to describe or you will not answer the question correctly.
5. Organize the material. Organize your main points in an outline so that you won’t leave out important information.
6. Write concisely and correctly. Get directly to the point and use short, clear sentences. Remember that your instructor may be grading a pile of other students’ tests, so get to the point and avoid using filler sentences.
7. Write neatly. Appearance and legibility are important. Use an erasable pen. Use wide margins and don’t crowd your words. Write on one side of the paper only. Leave space between answers so you can add to an answer if time permits.
8. Focus on main points. Your opening sentence should state your thesis, followed by supporting information.
9. Answer completely. Make certain that the question is answered completely, with supporting documentation.. Cover the main points thoroughly and logically.
10. Use all the available time. Don’t hurry. Pace yourself and always use all the available time for review, revisions, reflection, additions, and correction. Proofread carefully. Answer all questions unless otherwise directed.
Special Strategies for Math and Science
1. Use note cards. Write formulas, definitions, rules, and theories on note cards and review them often. Write out examples of each theorem.
2. Write notes. As soon as you are given the test, jot down formulas, theorems, and formulas in the margins.
3. Survey the test. Determine the number of questions and the worth and difficulty of each question.
4. Easy to hard. Do the easy questions first. Spend more time on questions that are worth the most points.
5. General to Specific. First, read to understand the big picture. “Why is this subject in the book? How does it connect with other topics?”
6. Write the problem in longhand. For example, A = ½ bh For a triangle, the area is one-half the base times the height.”
7. Think. Use critical thinking and creative problem solving. Let your mind ponder possibilities and what-ifs.
8. Make an estimate. A calculated guess will give you an approximate answer. This helps you when you double-check the answer.