Strategies for Test-Taking
- Do all required reading as assigned (Don't wait until the last minute!)
- Highlight important information in text.
- Make study cards of important information.
- Take time after each lecture to review notes and fill-in gaps.
- Ask questions about exam. (What types of questions? What information is important? etc.)
- Get copies of past exams if possible.
- Know essay test vocabulary ("compare, evaluate, define...")
- Build a positive "I can do it" attitude. (More important than you might think!)
Actual Studying for Test:
- Don't cram! On going preparation and review makes for better learning and memory.
- Review each chapter. Make a question out of each heading. "Recite" the answer in your own words. Review study cards using same routine. Review questions at back of chapter.
- Review class notes. Again, make up questions, recite answer. Review study cards.
- Don't waste time studying what you already know!
During the Test:
- RELAX! Do breathing exercises.
- Know and follow "PUBCAR" strategy:
Answer easy questions first
After the Test:
- ALWAYS study returned test to see what you did wrong.
- What test strategy errors did you make?
- What information was incorrect?
- Use this knowledge to improve performance on next test.
ESSAY TEST STRATEGIES
Understand the Direction Words:
Discuss: Give main points and examples.
Describe: Create a "word picture".
Explain: Tell HOW. (How it works, how it happened, etc.).
Compare: Show how two things are the SAME and how they are DIFFERENT.
Contrast: Show how they are DIFFERENT.
Evaluate: Present positive and negative aspects.
Justify: Tell WHY something is right or appropriate.
Diagram Make a drawing and label it.
Illustrate: Can mean either to make a drawing OR a long written example.
List: Give key points, one by one.
Outline: Organize a description with main points and sub-headings.
Define: Provide a meaning or synonym.
Summarize: Condense ideas.
Relate: Show a connection or relationship.
Organize Your Answer:
- You should spend 1/4 of time allotted for question.
- Analyze the question: Answer all parts of it.
- Make an OUTLINE, or list major points to be covered.
Write Complete Answers:
- Write to uninformed reader.
- Write more than you think you need to.
- "Pack in" the information.
Proofread Your Answer:
- Be sure to save time for this.
If Time Runs Out:
- Include an outline of what you would have written, or, ask for more time if possible.
OBJECTIVE TEST STRATEGIES
Read Directions Carefully.
Answer EASY Questions First.
- Read each question. If SURE of answer, answer it. If NOT sure, put a "?" and go on.
- Don't waste time thinking! You'll get clues later.
Avoid Changing Answers.
- Your first instinct is usually correct.
Guess if Not Sure (unless told not to do so)
- Assume statements are TRUE unless you can prove otherwise.
- For a statement to be true, ALL PARTS must be true.
- ABSOLUTE statements tend to be FALSE (never, always, everybody, etc.)
- Watch out for NEGATIVES (not, un-)
- Read every choice, cross out the "distracters" (The wrong statements).
- Combine the statement with each choice as if it was a True-False question, if it's FALSE, cross it out.
- The following tend to be:
|More complete or inclusive answers||Absolute statements|
|"All of the above"||Jokes, insults, High and low numbers|
- Read directions to determine whether to use a letter more than once.
- If one list has longer statements, use it as a starting point.
- CROSS OUT (entirely) each choice as you use it.
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