Suggestions to help avoid careless errors! Analyze past test results. Each test can further prepare for the next test. Use other tests to review when studying for final exams. Arrive early for tests. Bring all the materials needed such as pencils and pens, a calculator, a dictionary, and a watch. This helps you focus on the task at hand. Be comfortable but alert. Choose a good spot to sit and make sure there is enough room to work, maintain comfortable posture but don't "slouch."
Before the Test Attend school every day during the testing period. Attend study preparation sessions. Ask the teacher and record the material the test will cover and the types of questions to expect. Avoid cramming. Instead study a little every day. Review the material more than one time. Answer practice questions in textbooks.
Study in small groups o Teach the subject to a study partner. o Go over as many different problems as possible (like old homework problems, unassigned problems in the course text, and problems on old exams). Set up the solutions, but don't crunch numbers. Do not leave a problem until convinced you could do it by yourself. o Brainstorm possible things that could be asked and answers that might be given.
Get sleep Don't stay up all night studying. Try to get a reasonable amount of sleep the night before the exam. If that's not possible, try to get a nap before the exam, or at least a short rest. Set up a backup system for the alarm clock or cell phone. Make a crib sheet as though the you were going to cheat on a closed-book exam. If the test is closed-book, know what's on the sheet. If it's open-book, bring the sheet with you.
Best Practices You can learn almost as much from mistakes on a test as from studying. Go over test results and read the teacher's comments. Look for patterns of errors to help in future studies. Decide on and adopt study strategies that worked best for you. Identify those that didn't work well and replace them. Dress comfortably and appropriately for the testing environment. Get plenty of rest the night before a test and eat a nutritious breakfast on the day of testing (not many sugar items).
Websites for Sample Standardized Tests o Drink plenty of water before a test. Water helps the brain function more efficiently. o Prepare fish prior to the days of the test. Fish is brain food!! o Eat a piece of hard candy when you start getting sleepy or tired. o Encourage each other to do his/her very best.
On the Day of the Test Listen closely to verbal directions and read carefully any instructions on the test itself. Ask the teacher to explain any instructions not understood. Scan the entire test section for the types of questions and use this information for pacing. Jot down memory aids, formulas, or important facts in the on scratch paper. If the answer sheet has to be bubbled, do so correctly.
Answer the questions you know first and come back to the harder ones later, remembering to mark unanswered questions so they're easy to find. Stay relaxed and confident. Remember that being well-prepared and helps with doing well. If you become anxious, take several slow, deep breaths to relax. Don't talk about the test to other students just before it; anxiety is contagious.
During Test Taking Read the directions carefully. This may be obvious, but it will help avoid careless errors. Answer questions in a strategic order. First easy questions to build confidence, score points, and mentally orient to vocabulary, concepts, and studies Then difficult questions or those with the most point value
STAY IN MOTION!!! Work on a problem until stuck. Think about it for a minute, and if nothing comes to mind, drop it and go on to another problem. Don't spend 30 minutes sweating out an additional five points on a problem and run out of time, leaving a 40-point problem untouched. Later return to the first difficult one. Try to put something down for each part of every problem/question. If you don't have time to solve a problem completely, explain what would be done if there was more time.
Show the work Write legibly. If an instructor can't read the writing, you are not likely to get full credit or any credit. If you feel you are sweating or hyperventilating, put down your pencil, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and consciously relax any muscles that are clenching (jaw, neck, stomach). When you are calmer, go back to work.
Review Review the test to make sure that all questions have been answered, have not been mismarked on the answer sheet, or have some other simple mistake. Proofread the writing for spelling, grammar, punctuation, decimal points, etc. Change answers to questions if originally misread or If you encountered information elsewhere in the test that indicates that the first choice is incorrect.
After the Test Ask Yourself... Were questions left blank due to a lack of time? Practice judging time needed and pacing work. Were any errors due to not following instructions? Read directions carefully and circle important words. Were mistakes made because you didn't know the subject thoroughly? Next time, set aside more study time or try new study strategies.