The following skills and strategies can be applied to a number of disciplines, however some skills pertinent to specific courses are highlighted as well.
Preparing for a test
- ÂžStudying should begin after first class
- ÂžComplete homework
- ÂžReview regularly
- ÂžTake notes in class
- ÂžIf you do not understand a topic or area, ask!
- ÂžUse review groups and support instruction (take advantage of tutoring, if offered)
- ÂžChoose a study group that is a serious as you are about the class and grades
- ÂžGet enough sleep the night before
- ÂžEat before the test , this gives you energy
- ÂžAvoid junk food
- ÂžArrive early
Taking the test
- Write your name at the top of the page
- Read over entire test before starting
- Jot down anything in the margins that will help
- Do not rush
- Look for keywords
- If you do not understand a question, ask!
- Keep handwriting neat
- If unsure of answer, skip it and go to next question, other questions may help with answer
- Your first instinct is usually right
- Do not worry about who finishes before you
- Do not budget 20% of your time on a part that is worth 10% of the points
- If time allows, look over test before turning it in
Once you receive a test back (after grading)
- Look over test carefully
- Make sure you understand mistakes
- ÂžIf you do not understand why you got a question wrong, ask!
- ÂžIf test is reviewed, takes notes on questions you missed
- ÂžUse test to study for exam (if cumulative class)
Study Skills specific to Mathematics and Science
- Translate problems into English, i.e., â€œThe square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the squares of the other two sides.â€
- Perform opposite operations: check by dividing, multiplying
- Use time drills – practice working problems fast
- Analyze before you compute – see the problem clearly
- Make a picture – draw an elaborate, color picture or diagram if you are stuck. Sometimes a visual aid will clear a blocked mind
Test-taking Strategies for Mathematics and Science
- Estimate first – this is a good way to double check. If your answer is way off it is probably wrong
- Review formulas the night before a test. Write formulas in the margins as soon as you receive the test
- Check your work systematically. Ask yourself:
Did I read the problem correctly?
Did I use correct equations of formulas?
Is my arithmetic correct?
Is my answer in proper form?
Test-taking Strategies for Open Book Tests
- Spend same amount of time preparing as closed book test
- Familiarize yourself with the book
- If allowed write down formulas and key information
- Focus on main ideas
- Know where ideas are located in book
- Learn details later if time allows
- Highlight important points in book if allowed
- Use post-it notes, bookmarks, and notes in book if allowed
- Answer the questions you know first
- Answer the questions that you need to look up next
Test-taking Strategies for Short Answer Tests
- Use flashcards to study
- Anticipate test questions (instructor usually emphasizes material in class)
- Do not leave an answer blank, make an educated guess
- Read questions carefully
- Answer all parts of the question