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Test Quest
Test-Taking Skills

Meet The Questers
Learning Styles
Study Habits / Time Management
Test Taking Skills
Taking Notes
Active Listening
Improving Your Memory
Test Quest Teacher Guide & Handouts
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Western Reserve Public Media

General Guidelines | True/False | Multiple Choice | Short Answer
Essay Tests | Flash Cards

The real key to taking a test is to be prepared -- to have spent consistent time studying. But there are test-taking strategies that might help you do well on a test.

General Guidelines

  • Get a good night's sleep before the test.

  • Arrive early and take a moment to relax.

  • Don't go to the test with an empty stomach.

  • Read directions carefully. Listen to instructions from the teacher. Important directions could be given.

  • If you go blank on a question, skip it and come back to it at a later time.

  • Make a study sheet before the test and use it to review.

  • Be sure you have all of the supplies you need -- pencil, calculator, texts, etc.

  • Save time at the end to review what you have done. Make sure you've answered everything.

  • Answer the easiest questions first.

True/False Tests

  • ·Most true/false tests contain more true answers than false answers. When in doubt, guess true.

  • Watch for qualifiers. These are words like no, never, always every, entirely, only. They usually imply false answers.

  • Read questions that have negatives very carefully. These tend to be confusing.

  • Every part of the statement must be true to get an answer that is true, so read long questions carefully.

Multiple Choice Tests

  • Read the stem carefully.

  • Read all of the answers before selecting.

  • First eliminate answers you know are wrong.

  • Always guess when there is no penalty for guessing. Don't guess if you are penalized for guessing.

  • Your first choice is usually correct, so don't change answers unless you're sure you are correct.


Short-Answer Tests

  • Find out if you need to write in complete sentences. When in doubt, use complete sentences.

  • Use grammatical clues to help you. Look for plurals.

  • Let the instructor know if you think more than one answer is possible. The instructor may give you a clue to what he/she is looking for.

  • A guess may give you a few points. You will get no points if you leave it blank.


Essay Tests

  • Read directions and all of the questions before you begin.

  • Look for key words like compare, contrast, or criticize to determine how to structure your essay.

  • Make a brief outline of what you want to write.

  • Write down key words you want to use in your essay.

  • Start with a strong introductory statement. State your main point in the first paragraph. This paragraph should be an overview of your essay.

  • Begin each supporting paragraph with a key point.

  • Support your answer with examples and facts.

  • Write a summary at the end of your essay.

  • Review, edit and then correct!


Flash Cards
(These may seem old fashioned, but they really work!)

  • Great for review of vocabulary, dates, mathematical terms and formulas, and foreign language.

  • Put question on one side and answer on the back.

  • As you're using flash cards, put aside those you already know and review ones that need work.

  • Review them often. They're a great study aid.




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