Test Taking Strategies By Tara L. Davis 2008 Inspired by Math and Problem Solving Skills by C. R. Doherty and A. Smith 2003 For use with Test Taking Strategies.
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Test Taking Strategies By Tara L. Davis 2008 Inspired by Math and Problem Solving Skills by C. R. Doherty and A. Smith 2003 For use with Test Taking Strategies lecture. Images used for educational purposes only.
Test Taking Behaviors If you haven’t already, first take the assessment: Test Taking BehaviorsTest Taking Behaviors To be successful you must: Understand - Which behaviors help you and which will sabotage you? Prepare - Two weeks before, the night before, and the day of the exam! Analyze - Take math tests efficiently. Know - How do you answer essay, matching, true/false, and multiple choice questions effectively. A test is a measure of what you know, it is not a measure of your intelligence! If you have test anxiety practice relaxation.
Preparing: Two Weeks Before If you haven’t already, make up a set of study sheets or note cards summarized and highlighted. Read through them at least once a day. Don’t try to memorize everything, just read and learn. Memorize word for word only those things you must. memorize. Separate the note cards into “knowledge piles” I know it (review often to refresh your memory) I mostly know it (pay more attention to these) I still don’t get it! (these may require a tutor) Quiz yourself once or twice a week and think about the kinds of questions that might be asked on the test. Don’t wait! Get help immediately for difficult concepts! Review can be done in five minute intervals
Preparing: The Night Before The night before the test do not do anything special. Continue to review your note cards as usual. Quiz yourself on the things you know well. Pay special attention to those things you are still having difficulty remembering. Be rested by getting a good night’s sleep! Avoid staying up all night to cram. You’ve studied well, you know the material. You will not perform well if you are sleepy!
Preparing: Test Day Be Confident: Begin the day with positive statements to yourself. Be Fed: Get up early and have a good breakfast. The brain functions best when you’ve eaten. Be Positive: You know the material so, tell yourself you will do your best! Be Relaxed: If you feel tense, take a deep breath and you may review your notes one last time. Be On Time: Give yourself time to settle down. A positive attitude goes a long way!
Preparing: The Test Be Sure: Read over all the directions and questions before you start to answer. Be Focused: Choose which section you want to do first and read the question a second time. Be Calm: Don’t let a hard question get you down; leave it and get back to it later. Be Smart: Use all the time allotted to you; don’t rush but don’t spend 15 min on one question. Be Confident: You know the material! Be Cool: If the test is especially long or you feel tense take a moment to put down your pen/pencil; stretch; close your eyes; breath; relax and resume. Accept your anxiety and try to manage it.
Math Test Tips Immediately write down important formulas you are likely to forget on your paper Focus on one problem at a time; cover the rest with a piece of paper if you must. Read the questions carefully. What is the question asking you to do? Work neatly. The most common mistakes in calculation are often caused by the inability to read one’s own work. Slow down. Errors with signs and transposed numbers or forgotten steps occur most often when you are rushing. Think! Don’t rely on your calculator to do everything. Don’t randomly change your answers.
Math Test Tips Look at the multiple choice answers. Sometimes they will give you a clue as to how to begin to save you time. Multiple choice answers are NOT chosen randomly. Answers are derived from common mistakes in calculation or false assumptions. Got anxiety? Set your pencil aside, close your eyes, and bring down your anxiety a few notches by taking slow, deep, calming breaths. Check your work. Use your scrap work to discover WHY you made an error, WHAT errors you make all the time, and HOW you can avoid them in the future. Don’t worry about anyone else, they have their own problems! No one said you had to start with number 1!
Answering Essay Questions Read the question and instructions carefully and determine what you have to write. Do you have to write just one short answer paragraph? Do you have to write three or more paragraphs? Can you choose the question or do you have to answer them all? Underline key words especially if there are multiple parts you must answer. If you need to, use scrap paper to: brainstorm, organize or outline, and jot down supporting information. Spelling, punctuation, grammar, and organization always count! Give instructors enough detail to grade!
Answering Essay Questions When you are ready to write, follow the classic essay steps. For an essay length answer: answer the question in the first paragraph and restate the question as your topic sentence. state and support with a proof in the next 2 or 3 paragraphs. summarize in your conclusion. For a short one paragraph answer: answer the question in the first sentence state and support with proof in the next three or more sentences. make a final, meaningful statement the last sentence. If there are multiple parts to a question, there should be one paragraph written for each, unless the directions say otherwise. Be sure you answer all parts of the question!
Essay Question Tips If you tend to get remarks on your tests that say “Details” or “More Info” or you lose points, you likely are not writing enough. Don’t write less than five sentences per paragraph. Be sure you have details to support your answer. If you write a novel and still are getting the essay wrong, you are likely not answering the question! Answer the question in the first sentence or paragraph. Be sure your details are relevant to the question. If you can not remember exact details, use your experience to create details! You may not get full points, but you do want to show that you know what you are talking about. If you don’t know the answer to the first part of a multiple part question, answer what you can do and explain how you might do the part you can’t. Make up a number to use if you must! Use the things you know to fill out the answer!
Answering Matching Before beginning, examine both lists. Are there single words or phrases? What are the topics and what do you know about them? Make all “sure thing,” “no doubt” matches first. Cross or check off items in the second list neatly once you are certain of a match Don’t cross them off so that you can’t read them! Do not make a smart guess until all “sure” matches have been made When you smart guess, do not put together obviously wrong matches just because it’s the only match left. It is better to double up a match as you are more likely to get one of them right! If you must use lines, then draw them last.
Answering True and False True and False questions can be quite difficult, but there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting them right. If there is specific detail in the statement, it may tend to be true. A statement that is false is often vague or has absolute statements like always or never If just one piece of the information is false, then the whole question must be false! Answer the questions you are positive of first, then go back and re-read and give the best answer to the ones you aren’t sure of. Don’t leave any blank. You always have a 50% chance of guessing correctly! You may need to read them many times!
Multiple Choice If you don’t know the answer to a multiple choice question remember the acronym PASS! Process of Elimination Eliminate what you know can’t be the answer. Ask: Does it make sense? Some answers make sense and others do not. Smart guess; move on Don’t leave it blank! Make your best guess. Search for the answer Sometimes the answer to one question is found in another. P A S S Don’t guess randomly. Think and reason!
Multiple Choice Tips Tip: Absolute answers are incorrect most of the time. Look for the words: always, never, no, none, every, entirely, only. Tip: Look for answers that cancel each other out. There can only be one answer! Tip: Focus on the words you know not on the words you don’t. Tip: Never leave a multiple choice blank. If you do nothing you get nothing! Tip: When you have no clue and can’t even make an educated guess, pick either B or C. You are statistically more likely to get an answer correct if you pick one and fill in all the blanks with that one letter. Always take advantage of every point!
Related Assignments Practice your new multiple choice test taking skills with the handout: Mock Multiple Choice Test 101Mock Multiple Choice Test 101 You didn’t study, so aren’t meant to understand the questions! Try to figure them out using PASS Put in your best effort so that you can see for yourself how the test strategies work. Think things through; puzzle them out!
Sources Sources for 2008 Multicolored Leaf: http://www.masternewmedia.org/images/multi_colored_leaf_350.jpghttp://www.masternewmedia.org/images/multi_colored_leaf_350.jpg Green Test: http://blogs.msdn.com/blogfiles/crm/WindowsLiveWriter/ExamSecondShotPromotionis BackWorldwide_77E4/Exam.jpghttp://blogs.msdn.com/blogfiles/crm/WindowsLiveWriter/ExamSecondShotPromotionis BackWorldwide_77E4/Exam.jpg Orange Test: http://www.rdg.ac.uk/studyskills/study_resources/study_guides/MPj03415130000%5B1%5D.jpghttp://www.rdg.ac.uk/studyskills/study_resources/study_guides/MPj03415130000%5B1%5D.jpg Students Taking an Exam: http://thesituationist.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/math-exam.jpghttp://thesituationist.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/math-exam.jpg Students Taking a Test: http://www.uwsp.edu/geo/faculty/ozsvath/top_ten/test%20takers.jpghttp://www.uwsp.edu/geo/faculty/ozsvath/top_ten/test%20takers.jpg Small Study Group: http://www.wells.edu/images2/small_study_group1a.jpghttp://www.wells.edu/images2/small_study_group1a.jpg Note Cards: http://uncommthreads.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/index_cards.jpghttp://uncommthreads.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/index_cards.jpg Student at Laptop: http://www.hookedonlaw.com/images/male_student.jpghttp://www.hookedonlaw.com/images/male_student.jpg Happy Students Outside: http://www.aolcdn.com/red_galleries/college-friends-group-study-400a080607.jpghttp://www.aolcdn.com/red_galleries/college-friends-group-study-400a080607.jpg Essay Hand with Pen: http://ncowie.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/signingdocument.jpghttp://ncowie.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/signingdocument.jpg Hand with Pencil math: http://www.ucc.ie/en/philosophy/ResourcesforCurrentStudents/HowtoWriteaPhilosophyEssay/image,12946,en.jpg http://www.ucc.ie/en/philosophy/ResourcesforCurrentStudents/HowtoWriteaPhilosophyEssay/image,12946,en.jpg Matching Test Example: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v186/ChibiJosh/Biochem/2008-04-01-1527-06.jpghttp://img.photobucket.com/albums/v186/ChibiJosh/Biochem/2008-04-01-1527-06.jpg Student Concentrating: http://www.southalabama.edu/studentsupportservices/study.jpghttp://www.southalabama.edu/studentsupportservices/study.jpg Student at Desk: http://pro.corbis.com/images/RF4470598.jpg?size=572&uid=%7B1421C13F-FD14-4F85-9ECC- 88F09F5259A8%7Dhttp://pro.corbis.com/images/RF4470598.jpg?size=572&uid=%7B1421C13F-FD14-4F85-9ECC- 88F09F5259A8%7D Cartoon Student: http://cartoonworks.gospelcom.net/p7ssm_img_1/fullsize/test_fs.jpghttp://cartoonworks.gospelcom.net/p7ssm_img_1/fullsize/test_fs.jpg Clipboard and Pen: http://www.scarborough.gov.uk/images/clipboard_and_pen.jpghttp://www.scarborough.gov.uk/images/clipboard_and_pen.jpg Calculator and Worksheet: http://images.jupiterimages.com/common/detail/18/46/23424618.jpghttp://images.jupiterimages.com/common/detail/18/46/23424618.jpg PASS Acronym by Tara L. Davis