Be Advised ISU

Central Academic Advising

    Test-Taking Tips

  1. Test Preparation

    • Keep up with reading assignments throughout the course so there will be no need to cram!

    • Review the materials a little at a time, including information from early in the semester, so nothing will be a surprise!

    • Ask questions, try to predict what the test will cover, and review those areas more, without forgetting everything else!

    • Review old handouts, notes, quizzes, exams, and papers for clues and information you may have forgotten.

    • If your instructor does not return old tests, ask if you can schedule a time to come in and look at them.

    • Learn and study your instructor's "test technique:" the types of questions they favor, if they prefer long detailed answers or short consice answers, if they like important dates, etc.

    • Use questions from your texts to help study!

    • Study alone - and then study with other students!

    • Give yourself a good night's sleep and well-balenced diet so you will not be tired or hungry during the test!
  2. Test-Taking

    • Be on time and come fully prepared with any materials you need.

    • Read the directions at least twice to make sure you understand what is expected.

    • Look over the test to see what kinds of questions there are, and to give yourself an idea of how long you should allot for each area.
    • Read each question very carefully - look out for absolute words like "always" and "never".

    • Take your time, think carefully and don't panic - don't let other students leaving distract or rush you!

    • Be sure to make arrangements with your instructor if you will miss a test, or need to make one up.

    • Don't linger on one question too long - mark your best guess and come back to the question if time permits.

    • Be careful about changing your first answers without good reason - your first choices are more likely to be correct.

    • Write down any formulas, equations or rules you had to memorize before actually working on the test itself.

    • Always show your work - this often leads to partial credit even if the answer is wrong.

    • Do not be in a hurry - look over your test for careless errors like number transposition or a decimal point in the wrong place.

    • Use simple and correct words - do not abbreviate or use slang. Check your spelling and punctuation. Write legibly and neatly - print if your printing is better!