Test Taking Tips for Students

Ways to Make Test Taking a Little Easier

test taking tips
Tests can be hard! Knowing some test taking tips can make it easier. Getty Images/ Lew Robertson

There are a number of test taking tips for parents, providing information about how to make the experience easier for your child, but there are also some test taking tips specifically for students. If you've done all you can do to prepare your child for a big test, share these tips with him to make the actual taking of the test less stressful.

10 Test Taking Tips

Tip #1: Read the directions as carefully as the question.

Sometimes you will be asked for the statement that doesn't fit or the answer that is least likely. If you are looking for the right answer because you missed the directions, then you aren't showing that you actually do know the material.

Tip #2: Use complete sentences during writing tests and essay questions. It helps to begin by re-stating the question. For example, "Why do you like armadillos?" could be started by saying "I like armadillos because..."

Tip #3:  Read all of the answers before choosing one. That way you can eliminate all the answers you know aren't correct and have a smaller number of possible right answers.

Tip #4:  Keep your eye out for key words like always, never, every, no, not and all. If these words show up in the answer, they are often a signal that this is not the correct answer. Those types of key words tend to rule out any flexibility and, for the most part, answers tend not to be absolute.

Tip #5: Skip a question if you're completely stuck on it. Wrestling to come up with an answer can not only cause you anxiety that may affect your performance on the rest of the test, but can also use up a lot of your testing time. You might be surprised how easy it is to answer the question when you come back to it.

Tip #6: Look for the best answer, not the absolutely right answer. Some achievement tests are testing your reasoning skills as well as your knowledge. That means that in some situations there are some answers that are better than others, but not one that is "the" answer.

Tip #7:  Read the questions before the paragraph on a reading test.  If you know what is being asked ahead of time it will help to focus your reading so that you can get the most important information the first time around.

Tip #8: Guess if you have to. Just make sure you've eliminated other possibilities first. This is particularly important on a standardized test (one with a bubble sheet). Many students who try to leave an answer blank end up misaligning their other answers, that is, filling in the bubbles on the wrong line, which can mess up the entire test.

Tip #9:  Check over your answers if you have time at the end of the test. it gives you a chance to fill in ones you skipped and make sure you didn't miss any questions by mistake.

Don't change an answer unless you're completely certain it's wrong. Usually, your first instinct is correct.

Tip #10: Don't stress out over the test, especially once it's done. If you've given it your best effort, that's all you can do. Worrying won't change the outcome and this one test isn't the most important thing in the world.

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