Presentation on theme: "Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Test Preparation Skills for College Students."— Presentation transcript:
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Test Preparation Skills for College Students
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro What evil mastermind invented formal testing? Tests are a necessary part of your education Preparing for tests should NOT be left until the last minute if you want to be successful. A strategic plan should be used to prepare yourself for a test. This plan should be designed to fit your personal learning style, the class you are testing in, and your overall study skills strategy.
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Test Preparation Strategy 101 The first rule of test preparation: Start Early!! Set aside several study blocks the week before the scheduled test date to prepare. Create an outline of the material on the exam to guide your review as well as give you a “big picture” frame of reference to help understand the material. Know what kind of questions to expect. This will heavily influence how you should prepare.
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro The Early Bird Passes the Term Never wait until the day before the exam to start. It is impossible to cover several weeks of material in a few hours. Procrastinating adds stress! Set aside 3-5 blocks of time over several days of the week before the exam to review the material. This will keep the information fresh in your mind and allow you to identify what you need to spend more time reviewing and what points you still need clarification on from the professor. If you have prepared early, the night before the exam, you can have one last leisurely review and then go to sleep earlier so you are well rested the day of the exam.
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Plan to Plan for an Exam Create a study plan before you begin studying. This will allow you to identify exactly what you need to study so you can set aside study time for each area without forgetting anything Make a list of the major things (problem types, historical periods, ideas, or concepts) that will be covered on the exam and use this list to organize your study time. Leave your last study session as a review of anything you still feel unsure of.
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro What kind of class am I in??? Knowing what kind of class you are in also influences your test preparation. The three major kinds are: –Skill-based classes Math, Foreign Language, English Composition –Lecture/Reading classes English Literature, Humanities, Social Science –Laboratory classes Science Labs
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Skill-Based Classes Skill-based classes require you to learn how to perform certain actions, such as solving algebraic equations, speaking a foreign language, or writing a paper. The key to preparing for skill-based classes is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Make a list of the specific kinds of problems or tasks you will be tested on and practice each kind of task repeatedly until you feel comfortable with them.
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Lecture/Reading-based classes Lecture and reading classes are the most common kind of class you will encounter. You are expected to learn a set of facts and information from lecture notes, the textbook, and outside readings. Make a list of the major topics that will be covered on the test and use that list to organize your study sessions. Write down all major terms and their definitions, all major events and people, and all major concepts, and look for relationships among them that will help you remember them.
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Laboratory Classes Laboratory classes, such as science lab classes, consist of practical experiments and hands-on work that the student performs to better understand a subject. The key for studying for tests in lab classes is to understand what you did and the ideas behind the tasks. Make lists of what experiments/tasks were performed, the goal of each task, the procedure, and the results. Make sure you understand how the experiment led to the result.
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Question Types Any type of question can appear in any class, so you should become familiar with the types of questions your professor generally uses as well as how to prepare for each of the main types of questions. The main types of questions are –Matching –Essay/Short Answer –Problem-Solving –Multiple Choice –True/False –Fill in the Blank
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Multiple Choice Multiple choice questions offer you a choice of from 3 to 5 answers for a given question. They are very common, especially in lecture/reading classes. To prepare for these questions, learn the differences between major ideas, concepts, people, and events. Often, similar items are used as potential answers to make sure you understand the differences between them. Look for ways to group ideas, concepts, people, and events together. That way, if a question asks about a particular idea, you can eliminate any answers you know are not related to it. (or is that your final answer?)
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro True/False True/False questions can be very tricky. Preparing for true/false questions is similar to multiple choice. Look for similarities and differences among the major ideas, concepts, people, and events you are being tested on. False questions can mismatch these things to test your knowledge of their relationships. True/False questions can also be based on definitions of major terms. True/False questions may rely heavily on “cue” words or slight changes to mislead you.
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Fill in the Blank Fill in the Blank questions ask you to supply a missing word to a statement. These questions are usually based on definitions of the major terms covered. Make lists of the major terms and ideas and define them as preparation.
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Matching Matching questions ask you to “match up” two lists. Preparing for these questions involves knowing the definitions of key terms, people, events, ideas, and concepts.
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Essay/Short Answer Essay questions and short answer questions ask you to write a complete answer to a question to demonstrate your understanding of the material. These questions can be prepared for by asking yourself questions about definitions and relationships of the key ideas, concepts, people, events, and terms you are studying. –Short answer questions tend to be definition-oriented –Essay questions are usually more concerned with relationships
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Problem Solving Problem solving questions ask you to perform an action such as solving a math problem, translating a passage to or from a foreign language, or using a scientific formula. These are especially common in skill-based classes and science and math courses. The primary way of preparing for problem solving questions is to practice each kind of problem or task you expect to see on the test until you feel comfortable with them.
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Other test types to be aware of Other non-standard types of tests you should be aware of are –Open Book Tests –Take Home Tests
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Open Book Tests Open book tests allow you to use your textbook or other outside materials to help answer questions on the exam. It is a common misconception that open book exams are easier than standard exams. In fact, many are harder, and this is compounded by the fact that students don’t prepare as well because they expect the exams to be easier. Prepare for this exam as you would any other.
Copyright 2001, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. & Thomas R. Renfro General Strategies for PREPARING YOUR TEXTBOOK Flag important pages with a sticky note that serves as a tab. Write a one-word description on the tab that will let you know quickly what information is found on that page. If you use multiple flags, consider using different colored tabs to help you get to the information quicker. Using multiple tabs in the same color means you will have to read every tab to find what information you are looking for. Underline or highlight keywords or concepts, but try to do this sparingly so that you are not distracted by too much writing or color. IF YOU MARK EVERYTHING, YOU WILL NOT FIND ANYTHING!!
Copyright 2001, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. & Thomas R. Renfro General Strategies for KNOWING YOUR TEXTBOOK Become familiar with and proficient at using the table of contents and index of your textbook. Become familiar with how the chapters are organized (sequentially, conceptually, etc.) Be familiar with the information in textboxes, graphs, case studies, etc. that do not appear to be the primary focus of the chapter text. Test questions can frequently come from these areas because professors know students will often overlook them while studying.
Copyright 2001, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. & Thomas R. Renfro General Strategies for taking OPEN BOOK TESTS 1.Glance at your watch or a clock every now and then to make sure you are making good progress and will have time to finish 2.Don’t rely on the book for every answer on the test. 3.If writing short answers or essays, do not plagiarize!!
Copyright 2001, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. & Thomas R. Renfro 4.For answers you about 60-70% sure of on your own: answer the question anyway without using the textbook and place a little mark next to the question. Use extra time at the end of the test to verify answers. DO NOT waste precious time verifying answers if you have not completed the rest of the test. 5.For questions you do not know the answer to: if you cannot find an answer in a relatively short time, move on to another question, but do not forget to come back to the question later!!
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Take Home Tests Take home tests are given like assignments to be completed by the student and returned later. As with any assignment, BEGIN EARLY! If you prepare for your take home exam as you would any other exam, you will answer most of the questions easily and have much more time to spend on any complex parts of the exam.
Copyright 2001, Thomas R. Renfro Summary Begin your test preparations early and set aside several blocks of time to study. Have a study plan which covers all material for the exam. Make lists of the major terms, ideas, concepts, events, and people you will be tested on, and know any relevant definitions and relationships among them. Don’t get sidetracked by non-standard test types.