How to Become a Better Test Taker


Test taking can be difficult, and many people have problems taking tests even if they studied well. Test taking skills are developed over time, but having good study habits and always attending class benefit the test taker. There are several tips for becoming a better test taker, but it's best to do what is most helpful for you. Some test taking methods could be easier for some and hindering for others.

Things You'll Need

  • Notebook
  • Textbook
  • Practice test
  • Study all your notes and study guides before the test. The best way to study is to make note cards that you can use to test yourself. Also, study with a friend and have the person quiz you on questions you're having difficulty with.

  • Take any practice exams available for the test. Some professors may also let you view past exams. Make sure to take advantage of any offered help from your professor.

  • Go to study tables and review sessions that are typically offered before major college exams. Notify your professor if you can't make it to a review session and see if a teacher's assistant could help you with reviewing for the test during office hours.

  • Go into the exam feeling prepared. During the test, make sure to pace yourself and not to think about the time limit. Read each question twice. If you're stuck on a question or problem for more than five minutes, move on to the next question. Make sure to come back to the question later.

  • Ask questions if you're not sure about how a question is worded or if you're having any other difficulty understanding the question. As long as you're not directly asking for the answer, some clarity will help to assure you answer correctly.

  • Go through your answers if you finish early. Review the entire test to double-check for errors and make sure you feel confident in your answers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't have an empty stomach. Eat a hearty breakfast in the morning and make sure to get plenty of sleep. Don't drink a lot of water or an energy drink before the test.
  • Many high schools and colleges offer test taking classes that can help to further refine your skills.
  • Be as prepared as possible so you don't add more stress to your brain. Have all the No. 2 pencils, calculators or note paper that you need ready in your book bag the night before the test. Also, bring all of your notes and textbook with you. You never know when a professor may decide to allow students to use their notes on an exam, so always have them on hand.


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