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#MadeForMidterms: Top 10 Test Taking Tips

By Stacia Rosen, Academic Success Coach

Midterms can tend to be scary and overwhelming (#truth).  But, with these 10 test taking tips, you’ll be ready to tackle any exam thrown at you.  Get ready to be #MadeForMidterms!

Before the Test

  • REVIEW
    • Compile main ideas/topics on one page for easy review.
    • Use flashcards or an app and repeat those concepts you may have difficulty remembering.
    • Create a practice test.
    • Take advantage of your instructor’s office hours for any content specific questions.
    • Avoid cramming the night before the exam.
  • BRAIN BREAK
    • Take a break to exercise, read, or spend time with your family. This will help alleviate some stress and recharge your brain.
  • EAT
    • Food is fuel, and your mind needs the proper nourishment to provide your brain power for the exam! Reach for fruits and veggies, lean proteins, beans, and/or whole grains.  Avoid heavy/sugary foods that could cause you to crash.
  • SLEEP
    • Get at least 6 hours of sleep the night before an exam (preferably more). Doing so will help you feel refreshed and well-rested ready to tackle to the test.

Taking the Test

  • ENVIRONMENT
    • Find a quiet place to take your test with no or minimal distractions. You want to be able to give your undivided attention to the exam.
  • POSITIVE ATTITUDE
    • Practice positive self-talk and take a deep breath! Try, “I got this! I prepared very hard for this exam.  I’m confident in my knowledge. Let’s do this!”
  • SURVEY
    • If settings allow, take a quick glance of the test. Do the easiest problems first.  This can help build your confidence.
    • Consider completing questions that may have a higher point value first, too.
    • If it’s a timed exam, keep an eye on the clock to make sure you have plenty of time to complete the entire test.
  • READ THE QUESTION CAREFULLY
    • Be sure to know what’s being asked. Don’t assume.  Pay special attention to details.  If you don’t know the answer, skip it and flag it to remind yourself to return to the question later.  Other parts of the test may have information that can help.
  • REVIEW
    • If time allows, review your answers. Trust your gut but be willing to change your answer if you realize your first answer isn’t right.

After the Test

  • REFLECT
    • What went well? What strategies worked?  What strategies might you change for next time?

 

For more test-taking and study tips, contact your academic success coach!