Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Test Tips Tuesday - #1

Test Tips Tuesday - #1
submitted by Peg Balachowski, Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning at EvCC

Over the next few weeks, we will share some ideas for helping students get better at taking exams. From my personal experience (as both a student and instructor) I know that students often feel a great deal of pressure when it comes to exams. In fact, I like to share this story with students:

In my first graduate level class, my instructor decided that he would schedule an evening exam so that he could have all of the students in his courses that term in the same room at the same time. He thought this was a great idea! So I made sure I had the date, time and room number on my calendar. I got there a little early because it was a different room from my regular class. Of course I was so nervous that I couldn’t find the correct room!!! That means I wasn’t there as early as I wanted, so the classroom was already filling up with other students. And I didn’t recognize anyone, so that added to my stress level. Here’s the worst part – when the instructor handed me my exam it looked like Greek to me. Seriously, my nerves had gotten the best of me and I didn’t recognize anything! So I had to talk myself off the cliff, and took a few deep breaths to try to relax. Fortunately that worked. When I opened my eyes and looked at the test again, things started to look familiar. Reading through the test I found a problem I could do easily, and that helped me to recognize that I could get through the test.

Our student have similar experiences, so as you think about what you’ll do to help them prepare for final exams or  tests next quarter, suggest these tips from Study Guides and Strategies. The better prepared and more relaxed students are when they walk in on exam day, the more successful they will be!

1.    Analyze how you did on a similar test in the past.

Review your previous tests and sample tests provided by your teacher. Each test you take prepares you for the next one!
2.    Arrive early for tests.
List what you need beforehand to avoid panic. Good preparation prepares you for the task at hand.
3.    Be comfortable but alert.
Choose a comfortable location with space enough that you need. Don't slouch; maintain good posture.
4.    Stay relaxed and confident.
Keep a good attitude and remind yourself that you are going to do your best. If you find yourself panicking, take a few deep breaths. Don't talk to other students right before: stress can be contagious.
5.    Read directions carefully!
and avoid careless errors.

Next time we’ll take a look at five more strategies to share with students.

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