Test Taking Skills

"Learning is an active process. We learn by doing... Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind." - Dale Carnegie

Power Testing

Plan: Make a plan of when and how to study. Convert hours to minutes and use available small blocks of time.

Organize: Organize your learning materials. Complete a set of class notes. Ask for copies of old exams.

Work: Work your plan: Make efficient study tools. Create study cards. Complete test concept maps.

Engagement: Meet with study groups or study partner. Write practice tests.

Rehearse: Do a practice run. Download test concept map. Take the test. Check it. Correct it. Repeat.

Test Download: Use a scratch paper to download test concept map, formulas, dates or anything else that you need to remember.

Enthuse Me: Be positive: Picture an A on the test as it is returned to you. Anytime you start having negative thoughts about the test. Stop! Tell yourself you prepared and again picture the A on the test.

Skim: Skim the test. Start with a "friendly", one that you know the answer to, problem or question.

Time Frame: Be aware of how much time you have, and the value of each problem or question. You will want to adjust how you work accordingly.

Imagine It: Picture your notes, textbook page, or study cards.

No Stress: Tense your muscles and then relax, breathe! It allows oxygen to the brain and will help you think. Remember to breathe.

Go For It: Give it your all.

Review the returned test! Evaluate how you studied and look for better ways to study. Correct your mistakes and put information back into your long term memory.

Additional Test Taking Resources

Power Testing powerPoint: by Kathryn Van Wagoner and Eldon McMurray

Preparing for Tests (doc) (pdf)

Test Taking Tips (doc) (pdf)

Test Anxiety (doc) (pdf)

Tips for Different Types of Exams (pdf)

ACCUPLACER Preparation Help  (pdf)

ALEKS math placement 

Resources for coping with test anxiety

Dartmouth University resources on dealing with testing anxiety

University of Houston - Test taking strategies

Resources for test taking strategies