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Test-Taking Strategies

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Presentation on theme: "Test-Taking Strategies"— Presentation transcript:

1 Test-Taking Strategies
Moultrie Technical College Student Academic Center

2 To provide helpful hints to Moultrie Technical College students.
Purpose To provide helpful hints to Moultrie Technical College students.

3 Outline References Ten Step Process Extra Techniques Summary

4 References How to Get Good Grades in College, Linda O’Brien, Woodburn Press, 2001 Becoming a Master Student, Dave Ellis, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006 (textbook for COL 099, College Success) Making Your Mark, 5th Edition University of West Georgia Student Development Center

5 Test/Exam Planning Any plan is better than none
Conduct planning for trips and tests/exams

6 The Ten Step Process Get off to a good start Develop a plan
Mark questions that you want to return to Increase your odds on multiple-choice questions Know how to approach essay questions Look for key words in True/False questions Be prepared for open book tests Improve your math test scores Check your answers Go over all returned tests

7 Step 1-Get off to a good start
Get to the test early Check that you have everything you need (pencil, calculator, etc.) On receipt of your test, dump or write down anything you need to remember (dates, facts, equations, memory cues, etc.) Listen very closely to any verbal instructions Carefully read the test directions

8 Step 2-Develop a plan Quickly look over the entire test and develop a plan For example a. Plan 15 minutes to complete 25 multiple-choice questions b. 15 minutes for each essay question c. 10 minutes to check your answers

9 Step 3-Mark Questions that you want to return to
Place a light dot or ? Mark by any answer you're not sure of or any question that you didn’t answer After going through all questions, go back to the ones you marked and try again If you aren’t sure, go with your first instinct Don’t panic if you don’t know the answers to the first few questions, since it sometimes takes a few minutes to get “in gear”

10 Step 4-Increase your odds on multiple-choice questions
Read the question twice to make sure you understand what is being asked While reading the question, try to come up with the answer before looking at the choices Read all of the answer choices Don’t be tempted to mark the first one that sounds correct Pay attention to the meaning of the words in the question If you aren’t sure, cross out choice(s) you know are incorrect, then make an educated guess If two of the choices are similar or opposite, probably one of them is the correct answer Take questions at face value, don’t get caught up looking for tricks

11 Step 4-Increase your odds on multiple-choice questions (continued)
If you are having trouble: Rephrase question in your own words Underline key words to help untangle complicated questions Look for answers in other test questions

12 Step 4-Increase your odds on multiple-choice questions (continued)
Taking A Guess If two answers have similar words (perpetrate, perpetuate) choose one of them If two answers have opposite meanings, choose one of them Choose the longest answer Studies indicate the following (b)-correct 40% of the time (c)-correct 30% of the time (a)-correct 20% of the time (d)-correct only 10% of the time

13 Step 5-Know how to approach essay questions ( 1 of 4)
Read each essay question and start with the easiest one to increase your confidence and give you a little time to think about the harder question(s) Read directions twice to be sure you understand what you are being asked to do

14 Step 5-Know how to approach essay questions (2 of 4)
Know what the meanings of these direction words (refer to handout) Analyze Compare Contrast Criticize Define Discuss Enumerate Evaluate Explain Illustrate Interpret Outline Prove Relate State Summarize Trace

15 Step 5-Know how to approach essay questions (3 of 4)
Note how many points each essay is worth so you can adjust your time Before writing, brainstorm by recording key words, dates, points to cover If you have time, organize these points into a simple outline If you don’t have time, number the points in order you want to present them Make sure you are really answering the question Write legibly so your instructor doesn’t have to guess Use clear, concise and complete sentences (standard written English) Data shows that when two identical essays are graded, the one that is more legible/standard written English gets the higher grade

16 Step 5-Know how to approach essay questions (4 of 4)
Introduce your topic in the opening paragraph and tell the instructor what he/she can expect to learn from the essay In the middle paragraphs, present details, evidence and facts to support the points Remember, each paragraph has a topic sentence (controlling idea) with the remainder of the sentences providing support Summarize main points, your analysis, etc. in the final paragraph Proof read your essay Keep to the point, quality doesn’t depend on quantity If you don’t know the answer, write whatever you know about the subject-you might get credit If you don’t have time to finish, explain that you ran out of time and list the points you would have covered- you might get partial credit

17 Step 6-Look for key words in True/False questions ( 1 of 4)
Statements with always, everybody, all, no, none, never, every, all and none in them tend to be false Statements with usually, often, sometimes, most, many, usually and few in them tend to be true Unfamiliar looking phrases and terms are usually incorrect Choose an unfamiliar term only when you are certain all the other options are incorrect When one answer to a multiple choice question is more complete or inclusive than other answers, it is likely to be the correct answer If you are certain that two of the options are correct and “all of the above” is an option, choose “all of the above”

18 Step 6-Look for key words in True/False and multiple-choice questions ( 2 of 4)
When options for a multiple choice question are a series of numbers, the highest and lowest numbers tend to be incorrect When two options to a multiple choice question look similar, the correct answer tends to be one of those options Read True/False questions very carefully since one word will often determine whether a statement is true or false For a statement to be judged true, all parts of the statement must be true Assume statements are true unless you know otherwise

19 Step 6-Look for key words in True/False and multiple-choice questions ( 3 of 4)
True/False questions that state a reason tend to be false either because they give an incorrect reason or they don’t give all the reasons Look for words such as “since, because, and reason”

20 Step 6-Look for key words in True/False and multiple-choice questions ( 4 of 4)
Be careful with negatives and double negatives True or False: A cloudy sky is an unclear sky. Answer: True Two negatives cancel each other out He is not unintelligent=He is intelligent See handout for other examples Watch for absolute statement: a statement that excludes all possibilities except the ones stated Double-check each number, fact, and date Look for numbers that have been transposed or facts that have been slightly altered which are often signals of a false statement

21 Step 7: Be prepared for open book tests
Be able to locate quickly locate information Use post it flags or bookmarks to identify specific info Highlight your notes and write down all info on one page Create an informal table of contents Predict which material will be covered on the test and highlight relevant sections in your readings and notes Write all formulas, definitions, etc. on a separate sheet of paper for easy referral

22 Step 8: Improve your math test scores
As soon as you get your test, write down any formulas, equation, etc. that you will need Try to estimate the answer before solving the problem Draw a picture or diagram Don’t spend too much time on one problem, if “stumped” go on and come back to it later Show all your work-you might get credit

23 Additional hints for math and science
Translate problems into English: I =P x R/100 x T “Interest equals principal times the rate as a percentage times the time period Determine the unknown Check for a logical answer Check to see if you used all data supplied Check the steps of each problem

24 Step 9: Check your answers
Check all your answers You may have read the question wrong or made a careless mistake: 0.1 instead of 0.01 If you are unsure, don’t change your answer Use all of the testing time to answer and check your responses Professors and instructors didn’t give extra credit for finishing before time is elapsed

25 Step 10: Go over all returned tests
Review each question you missed and write in the correct answer Make sure that your test was correctly graded sometimes instructors make simple math errors Keep a record of your test scores You might see the questions again on the final

26 Extra Computer-graded tests
Make sure the answer you mark corresponds to the question you are answering Check the text booklet against the answer sheet when you change sections and whenever you come to the top of a column Watch for stray marks which can be interpreted as answers If you change the answer, completely erase the wrong answer

27 Extra, Extra Short answer/fill-in-the-blank tests
Concentrate on key words and facts Be brief Example: The attack on ______ ______ caused the United State to declare war on Japan. Look for grammatical hints: a sentence that begins with “An_” indicates the word starts with a vowel

28 Extra, Extra, Extra Matching Tests
-Begin by reading through each column, starting with the one with fewer items -Look for any items with similar wording and make special note of the differences -Match words that are similar grammatically (verbs with verbs, verbs with verbs and nouns with nouns) -When matching individual words with phrases, first read a phrase then look for the word that logically completes the phrase -Cross out items in each column when you are through with them

29 Summary Successfully taking tests and exams requires a few moments of planning.

30 Conclusion “If you always do what you have always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten!” “Who dares, wins!”

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