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Test Taking Tips

Exam Tip Links

Essay Exams
True-False Exams
Multiple Choice Exams

Prior To The Exam – Quick Tips:

  • Study: This is an obvious tip but make sure to plan your study accordingly. Try to go over the material each day that you have the class and, as a result, you will have a higher retention of the information.
  • Use flashcards: This is a good strategy to employ especially for a class in which you have to know definitions. It is important to include an example of the term you are studying on a flashcard because, on an exam, a professor may
    give you an example of the term and not ask for the definition only. This will also help in learning the term, rather than simply memorizing it.

  • Create a review sheet: This is a great way to review for an exam. At the end of each week (or each class) jot down some questions from your notes/reading assignments (you play the role of the teacher) but do not write in the answers immediately. A week prior to the exam start answering your own questions – now you have an “instant pre-test/review sheet.”
  • Talk to the professor: If you have any questions at all go to see the professor. Professors are the best resource for succeeding in class. Show them what you are reviewing so you can see if you are on the right track.
  • Review with classmates: Get a study group together or just one fellow classmate because you can bounce ideas or questions off of each other. Reviewing the work aloud will aid in retaining the material.
  • Tutorial assistance: The Tutorial Center, located in the Office of Academic Services (lower level of Phillips Memorial Library), has content tutors for any subject. Make an appointment if you are unclear on some of the class material or if you would like additional time to review. Some academic departments also run their own tutorial sessions.

During The Exam – Quick Tips:

  • Preview the exam: Take a look at the entire exam to see what it entails and manage your time accordingly. READ THE DIRECTIONS!
  • Do a mind dump: This is especially effective for an essay exam. Write down on a piece of paper all of the information
     that you know on the particular topic. This will help in recalling the information, as well as organizing the material for
    your essay answer.
  • Do the easiest problems first: Go through the exam and if you come to a problem that is costing you too much time, circle it, then go onto the next question. You do not want to spend too much time on a particular question because you
    are allotted only a certain amount of time to complete the exam. Remember, the more time you spend on one question, the less time you can spend on the next one to which you know the answer!
  • Never leave an answer blank: In general, it is better to guess and write in any answer than to leave an answer blank.
     You could get partial credit for your answer. If you leave an answer blank, you are guaranteeing yourself that you will receive no credit.
  • Ask the professor for clarification: While taking the exam, if you come across something that you do not understand
    ask the professor. He or she certainly will not give you the answer, but you may have a better understanding of what the professor is asking of you.
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