Are you struggling to get good grades on your tests? Do you feel like you never have enough time to prepare for them? Don’t worry, we have 15 test-taking strategies that will help you ace your midterms and finals! These strategies are based on scientific research, so they are guaranteed to help. Read on to learn more about how to improve your test-taking skills!
Test-Taking Strategies to Improve Grades
- Prepare for the Test in Advance
- Have the Right Attitude Entering the Test
- Arrive Early to the Exam
- Keep Hydrated
- Listen Attentively to all Instructions
- Write out all Formulas at the Start
- Look over the Entire Test First
- Pace Yourself Appropriately
- Don’t Get Frustrated During the Exam
- Read the Questions Carefully
- Try Process of Elimination for Multiple Choice
- Answer Every Question
- Try to Finish Early and Review
- If you Don’t Know the Answer Come Back to It
- Reflect Upon the Test After Completion
Prepare for the Test in Advance
One of the best things you can do to improve your test grades is to have the right study habits in place to prepare for the test in advance. This means studying the material regularly throughout the semester, not just cramming everything in the night before. When you study regularly, you will have a better understanding of the material and be able to apply it to different situations. You will also be less likely to forget important information when you need it.
Have the Right Attitude Entering the Test
It is also important to have the right attitude entering the test. Being in the right mental state when taking the test can make a huge difference on test day. This means being confident in your abilities and knowing that you can do well. Know that you’ve studied as much as you could and that you will be able to succeed. It is normal to feel some nerves before a big exam, but try to focus on the positive and trust in your preparation.
Arrive Early to the Exam
Another important strategy is to arrive early to the exam. This will give you time to relax and clear your head before the test starts. It also allows you to get a good seat and avoid any distractions from other students. If you have any last-minute questions before the test starts you can even ask a friend or instructor to help refresh your memory.
During the exam, it is important to keep hydrated. The human body is constantly losing water and it is important to maintain it during a potentially high-stress environment. This will help you focus and avoid any headaches or fatigue. Try to drink water regularly throughout the test so that you stay hydrated.
Listen Attentively to all Instructions
Before the test begins, make sure to listen attentively to all instructions. Although unlikely, there may be last-minute test changes that you would want to be aware of. This will ensure that you understand what is expected of you and can follow all directions correctly.
Write out all Formulas at the Start
If the exam includes any formulas, be sure to write them out at the start. This way you don’t have to stay stressed about possibly forgetting a formula as the test continues. This will save you time during the test and allow you to reference them easily if needed.
Look over the Entire Test First
When you first receive the exam, take a few minutes to look over the entire thing. This will help you get an idea of the topics covered and plan your time accordingly.
Pace Yourself Appropriately
It is also important to pace yourself appropriately during the exam. This means working at a steady pace and taking breaks when needed. If you work too quickly, you may make mistakes. If you work too slowly, you may run out of time. Find a balance that works for you and stick to it.
Don’t Get Frustrated During the Exam
If you find yourself getting frustrated during the exam, take a deep breath and try to relax. Getting angry will not help you solve any problems and will only make things worse. Take a break if necessary and come back to the test with a clear head.
Read the Questions Carefully
When reading the questions, be sure to read them carefully. Sometimes, students will misread a question and answer it incorrectly because they didn’t understand what was being asked. If you are unsure about a question, ask for clarification before answering.
Try Process of Elimination for Multiple Choice
If you are taking a multiple-choice exam, one strategy is to try process of elimination. This means eliminating any answer choices that you know are wrong and then choosing between the remaining options. This can often be helpful when you are unsure of the correct answer.
If you Don’t Know the Answer Come Back to It
If you come across a question that you don’t know the answer to, don’t spend too much time on it. Instead, mark it and come back to it later. This way you can use your time more efficiently and not get stuck on one question.
Answer Every Question
Even if you are unsure of the answer, it is important to try your best and answer every question. Most exams do not penalize test-takers for getting incorrect answers. On the contrary, you may get partial credit for incorrect answers, so it is worth it to take a guess. Plus, you never know when you might get lucky and get the right answer!
Try to Finish Early and Review
If possible, try to finish the exam early and then review your answers. This will allow you to check for any mistakes and make changes if necessary. Consider marking what answers you find difficult as you work through the test and go back to them later.
Reflect Upon the Test After Completion
After the test is over, take some time to reflect upon it. This is all about having a growth mindset of constant and never-ending improvement. Think about what went well and what could have gone better. This will help you learn from your mistakes and do even better next time!