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Test-Taking Tips

1. Be Prepared
No matter what other tips you may read and use, nothing can take the place of studying on a regular basis.

2. Do Your Homework
Homework and assignments are meant to give you the practice and knowledge you will need for an exam. Often, exam questions are based on what you have already read and completed.

3. Review Regularly

Avoid cramming by studying and reviewing each day. Review notes, homework and reading for a few moments every day. Quiz yourself and start the studying process early. Study key terms, definitions, examples, lists, diagrams, and charts. Pay particular attention to items your professor emphasizes in class.

4. Ask for Help

There are many resources available to help you succeed. Ask your instructor if you don't understand something. Form a study group. Check out the services available in the Advising Resource Center including study skills assistance, tutoring, and test taking strategies.

5. Understanding/Comprehension vs Memorization
Memorization techniques can be helpful if there are a lot of facts to remember. However, it is best to truly learn and understand the material.

6. Attend All of Your Classes

It is easy to get behind and miss vital information by skipping classes. Of you must miss a class, arrange to copy someone's notes or even tape the lecture (with instructor's permission.)

7. Control Anxiety During the Test
Arrive early. Get settled, relax, and give yourself time to organize your thoughts. Listen carefully to all instructions before beginning. Quickly review the test. Answer the easiest questions first. If you get stuck on a question, leave it and go back to it later. If you have no idea of an answer, remain calm, try to recall what you do know and use the other test questions to give you clues. If you do become anxious take a moment to relax. Close your eyes, take deep breaths, and concentrate on relaxing your body.

8. Get Plenty of Sleep and Eat Well Before a Test

Feeling rested and eating a balanced diet will go a long way in relieving stress symptoms.

Hints for Specific Types of Tests
Remember these are general tips that may be helpful. There is not a magic hint or formula that will help you with each and every test. Studying and preparing well are always your best bet.

Multiple Choice:
1. Try to answer the questions before looking at the answer.
2. Read through the entire test and answer those questions you know first.
3. Rephrase the question in your own words.
4. Eliminate the choices you know are incorrect and choose your answer from the remaining selection.
5. Sometimes the answer to one question is revealed in other test questions. Skip any questions you don't know and maybe the answer will become clear later.

True-False Questions:

1. Generally, there are more true than false statements.
2. If part of a statement is true and part of it is false, then the answer is false.
3. Statements with qualifiers (sometimes, seldom, rarely, most) tend to be true.

Matching:
1. Because the lists don't always match evenly, review the entire section before beginning.
2. Start with the easiest matches first. Cross out matches as you use them to eliminate confusion.

Essay Test:
1. Read directions carefully. Notice whether you must answer all the questions and whether your test time is limited.
2. Read all questions before beginning. If you can select questions to answer, chose those for which you are best prepared.
3. Answer the easiest questions first. This will help you feel confident and reduce anxiety.

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