Though there are hundreds of studies that suggest that many tests aren’t a true measure of your intelligence or potential for success, the reality is most universities still rely on them to measure a student’s academic acumen.
Because of this, it is important that you learn how to do well on a test and succeed in college to further your post-college potential for career success.
Test Taking Strategies
So what can you do to boost your test scores without necessarily committing more time to the library?
Fortunately there are hundreds of time tested strategies that smart students have been using for years. The tips listed below will help boost your test scores without committing you to countless hours in the library.
Test Tips of Test Smart Students
- Study two days prior to your test to retain the maximum amount of information possible.
- Perform a brief “re-cap” or self test the day before the test. Only spend 20 minutes or less reviewing material.
- Study in a non-distracting environment in 1-2 hour intervals.
- Be sure to highlight key points in the text and read over each chapter summary to refresh your knowledge on a particular subject.
- Talk with your professor at least a week prior to the test and go over your study strategy. Your professor can point out gaps in your thinking and you will ensure you study all the ‘essential’ information that will be on the test.
- Fuel your brain with energy food prior to your test. Bran muffins, complete breakfasts and fruit are all good choices. Candy bars and coffee are not.
- Get a good night’s sleep the night prior to your test. You can find plenty of time to party the night after your big test.
- Make sure you know where your test is being held and show up 15 minutes early to relieve pre-test anxiety.
- Read all the instructions on your test carefully. Nine out of Ten mistakes can be attributed to a misunderstanding of test requirements.
- Be sure to ask the professor if you are unclear on any points or questions.
- If you are trying to remember a lot of dates or specific facts, answer all the test questions with this information first, so you don’t have to worry about remembering everything for the entire test.
- Sit in a secluded and non distracting area of the classroom so you can take your test in peace.
- Go with your gut instinct and don’t change answers when reviewing your test. Your first instinct is usually the right one.
Smart test takers also reduce anxiety before a test by taking some deep breaths and relaxing. Keep in mind the more you stress out about a test the less likely you are to do well. Consider a 5 minute meditation just prior to your test to clear your mind of restless thoughts.
By adopting even a few of these strategies, you’ll likely find your test scores improve significantly in a short amount of time.