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Test Day Tips: Home

Tips for the day of testing.

Come prepared – arrive early for tests

Bring all the materials you will need, such as pencils and pens, a calculator, a dictionary (if permitted), and a watch.  This will help you focus on the task at hand.

Stay relaxed and confident.

Do not let yourself become anxious.  Do not talk to other students before a test – anxiety is contagious!  Instead, remind yourself that you are well-prepared and are going to do well.  If you feel anxious before or during a test, take several slow, deep breaths to relax

Be comfortable but alert.

Choose a good spot to take the test.  Make sure you have enough room to work.  Maintain an upright posture in your seat.

Do a “mind dump.”

Before answering any questions, turn-over the test and write down everything (formulas, dates, names, etc.) you think you may need and might forget.

Preview the test.

Spend 10% of your test time reading through the test carefully, marking key terms and deciding how to budget your time.  Read all the directions! Plan to do the easy questions first and the most difficult questions last.  As you read the questions, jot down brief notes indicating ideas you can use later in your answers.

Answer the test questions in strategic order.

Begin by answering the easy questions you know, and then those with the highest point value.  The last questions you answer should be those that are the most difficult, take the greatest amount of writing, or have the least point value.  Remember to answer questions from the instructor’s point of view.  Use the margins to explain answers.

Keep your mind open.

Try not to compare yourself to other people during the exam.  Use all the time allotted.  Work at your own pace.  The first person who completes the test does not necessarily “ACE” the test.

Reserve 10% of your test time for review.

Review your test – resist the urge to leave as soon as you have completed test.  Make sure you have answered all the questions.  If placing answers on a Scantron sheet, make sure answers and darkened ovals match.  Proofread your writing for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.  Check your math answers for careless mistakes (e.g. misplaced decimals).  Match your actual answers for math problems against quick estimates.