Presentation on theme: "TEST TAKING TIPS Created by Janice Levasseur"— Presentation transcript:
1 TEST TAKING TIPS Created by Janice Levasseur MSJC ~ San Jacinto CampusMath Center Workshop Series
2 Tests in CollegeYou, not the instructor, need to organize the material to prepare for testsMastery is often seen as the ability to apply what you’ve learned to solve new kinds of problems
3 Your Present SkillsTo evaluate your present test preparation skills, read each statement carefully and answer True or False.Be honest with yourself to get an accurate assessment.
4 Assessing your present Test Preparation Strategies See Handout
5 The following statements are TRUE for students who prepare effectively for tests. 2. When studying for an essay test, I try to learn general concepts in addition to specific facts.5. I try to ask myself probable test questions and answer them when studying for a test.7. I usually begin reviewing material several days before the date of the exam.8. When the teacher makes them available, I look through old tests for a course when I begin studying for an exam.10. I usually try to find out exactly what will be covered on an exam (which textbook chapters, class lectures, homework questions, outside reading, etc.)
6 The following statements are FALSE for students who prepare effectively for tests. 1. I usually read my assignments for the first time just before I am to be tested over the material.3. I study pretty much the same way for tests, whether the test is essay, multiple-choice, problem-solving, or some other type.4. I often study late, or even all night, the night before a test.6. I sometimes find myself memorizing formulas or rules that I don’t really understand, but that I think might appear on a test.9. It’s usually hard for me to know what to study when the teacher announces that a test will be multiple-choice.
7 Test Anxiety “I always seem to study the wrong things.” “I stay up late studying and then I’m so tired I can’t remember anything.”“No matter how much I study, I always panic when it is test time.”“My mind goes blank!”
8 Test Anxiety stems from three sources Poor test preparation and test-taking strategiesPsychological pressuresPoor health habits
9 Many students experience some form of test anxiety Anxiety may manifest itself physically and/or mentallyAnxiety may be mild or severe
10 Symptoms of Test Anxiety Survey Physical SymptomsIncreased sweatingIncreased need to urinateHeadachesShakinessUpset stomachPounding heartLoss of appetiteTightness of muscles
11 More physical symptoms Stiff neckBackachesPhysical fatigueInsomniaMental fatigueFeelings of inadequacy“free floating” anxiety
13 More mental symptoms Fleeting thought processes Narrowed perceptions Immobilized creativityNervous worryingPervasive negativismWeakened logical thinkingFeelings of impending doomDistracting thoughtsPoor attention span
14 Anxiety . . . A little bit is good! A low level of anxiety often results in inadequate motivation and poor performanceAs anxiety increases to a moderate level, perceptions sharpen; alertness, energy, motivation, and creativity increases and performance reaches optimal levelsBut if anxiety continues to increase, indecisiveness, carelessness, and poor judgement manifest
15 Anxiety level vs. Performance level of anxietyKeep you anxiety within a moderate manageable level for optimum performance by:Reversing any negative self-talkUse relaxation techniques (breathing)Practice visualizing success
16 Before the ExamThe best way to deal with test anxiety is to prepare well for each testThe more confident you are, the calmer you will bePreparation for your first test should begin the first day of class!
17 Preparation for your first test should begin the first day of class! Keep up with and complete the class homework assignmentsReview lecture notes and returned homework assignments on a regular basisCreate a “chapter summary” at the conclusion of each chapter, summarizing the definitions, key points, formulas, processes, etc.Be aware of the date of the first exam and all subsequent exams
18 The “Magic of Now” Improves Memory German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghouse researched the rate of forgetting and found:After 20 minutes, nearly 50% of what had been learned was forgottenAfter 1 day, nearly 66% lostAfter 2 days, 69% lostAfter 15 days, 75% lostAfter 31 days, 78% lost
19 H.F. Spitzer’s study on retention Showed that students who reviewed the material immediately after learning and then did periodic reviews were able to retain almost 80% of the material after 2 months!
20 Studying for an Exam Be aware of the exam date! Be sure to be in class for the exam reviewFormat of the exam?How many questions? Type?Point per question?Materials allowed?Time allowed?
21 Start studying early (don’t cram) to internalize and understand Review HW, Quizzes, in class worksheets, exam review, old exams from the teacher to identify “important” topicsDo practice problemsCreate a “cheat sheet” (one that you could possibly take into the exam to use!)
22 Take a practice test – if you stumble on a type of question, go back and study that topic (spend your time studying the topics that are the hardest for you!)Study in blocks – an hour or so of study followed by a ten-minute breakComplete your final review for the testGet plenty of rest the night before (at least 8 hours. You need to be rested to think clearly!)
23 The Day of the Exam Set not only one alarm but a “back up” Eat breakfastDress appropriatelyBe sure to bring everything you need to the exam (calculator, paper, pencil, cheat sheet if allowed)Arrive early so you are not rushed or flustered
24 When you get your exam, do a brain dump (create an “instant cheat sheet”) Look over the entire exam so you know how to pace yourselfStart at the beginning (do the easiest problems to get your brain warmed up)Read each problem thoroughly and be sure you can identify clearly what is being asked
25 Don’t spend too much time on one problem Don’t spend too much time on one problem. Mark it and return later – keep progressing!Remain calm, focused, and positive (remember, you ARE prepared)Remember partial credit – show your workUse the whole time (recheck, proofread)BREATHE!After leaving the exam, reward yourself for having completed the exam.
26 After the Exam Be in class for the exam review After receiving your exam back, look it over immediatelyRedo any question missed. If you don’t understand your error, see the instructor or a tutorDon’t throw away your exam – use it later to study for the final!
27 Test Preparation Progress Check The following questions will give you a chance to see what you’ve learned. . .When is the best time to do your reading assignments?All at once, just before the testWhen they are discussed in classAll at once, at the beginning of the term
28 What topics should you spend most time on when studying for a test? All topic equallyMost time on the topics that are the easiest for youMost time on the topics that are hardest for you
29 What is usually the most efficient length for blocks of study time? 15 minutes study with a 5-minute break after each study blockOne hour study with a 10-minute break after each study block3 – 4 hours with no breaks
30 Should you look over last year’s tests in a course when possible Should you look over last year’s tests in a course when possible? Why or why not?Yes, the teacher will probably use many of the questions againNo, you should spend your time studying your text and your class notesYes, you can learn what kinds of questions the teacher asks and what topics he/she thinks are important
31 When, if ever, should you review test papers that are returned to you? Immediately, to learn what gave you trouble on the testJust before the next test, to get you in the “right mindset”Never, reviewing your mistakes is likely to cause test anxiety
32 When should you complete your final review for a test? The night before the testJust before the test beginsAt least three days before the test
33 Progress Check Answers -- B, when they are discussed-- C, most time on the topics that are the hardest for you-- B, one hour study with a 10-minute break after each study block-- C, yes, you can learn what kinds of questions the teacher asks and what topics he/she thinks is important-- A, immediately, to learn what gave you trouble on the test-- A, the night before the test