1. Scan the entire test so that you know how to efficiently budget your time, and bring a watch.
2. Note the number of questions and figure out how much time you have to answer each one.
3. Read the instructions. Many students make HUGE errors by not carefully reading the instructions.
4. Answer questions in a strategic order:
- First easy questions to build confidence, score points, and mentally orient yourself to vocabulary, concepts, and your studies (it may help you make associations with more difficult questions)
- Then difficult questions or those with the most point value
With objective tests, first eliminate those answers you know to be wrong, or are likely to be wrong, don't seem to fit, or where two options are so similar as to be both incorrect.
- With essay/subjective questions, broadly outline your answer and sequence the order of your points.
5. Don't rush. Read the whole question and look for keywords.
6. Change your answer only if you have reason to do so; research indicates that in 3 out of 4 times your first choice was probably correct.
7. Return to questions you couldn't answer initially and try them again.
8. Don't waste time reviewing answers of which you are confident are correct.
9. Ask the instructor for clarification if you don't understand what they are asking for on the test.
10. Write legibly. If the grader can't read what you wrote, they'll most likely mark it wrong.
11. 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.
12. If you have time left when you are finished, look over your test. Make sure that you have answered all the questions. Watch out for careless mistakes and proofread your essay and/or short answer questions.
13. Don't worry if others finish before you. Focus on the test in front of you.
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