Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Test Tips Tuesday - #2

submitted by Peg Balachowski, Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning at EvCC
Last week in our blog post, we summarized five tips to pass along to students as they prepare for a test. This is so timely because of finals week! Students are experiencing a lot of stress because of the importance and weight of finals. The more we can do to help them prepare and relax (in addition to doing a good review of material), the more successful they’ll be. Speaking of reviews, let’s look at the first five recommendations:

•    Analyze how you did on a similar test in the past.
•    Arrive early for tests.
•    Be comfortable but alert.
•    Stay relaxed and confident.
•    Read directions carefully!

This week we add five more. I especially like #2 – if you remember from my post last week, I started to relax a bit on my first graduate level exam when I was able to scan for easier questions to answer, and when I could answer the first few “easy” questions I started to gain confidence and was able to complete the exam. I would also add a note to #4. As a student I remember looking at a question, writing an answer, but sometimes wondering if I actually understood the question. I would make a mark in the margin indicating that I needed to go back and review that work when I completed the rest of the exam. Sometimes I needed to make a change, sometimes I found that I could add some more work to clarify, and sometimes I was satisfied with the answer I wrote originally. Double checking √√ never hurts, and can provide a sense of accomplishment!

1.    If there is time, quickly look through the test for an overview.

Scan for keywords. If permitted, jot any notes that come to mind.
2.    Answer questions in a strategic order:
Easy questions first to build confidence. Then, those with the highest point value. On objective tests, eliminate obvious incorrect answers. On essay tests, broadly outline your answer and sequence of points.
3.    Review if you have time.
Resist the urge to leave when you complete the exam--check if you have answered all the questions, and not made any errors or miss-marked any answers.
4.    Change answers to questions if you erred, or misread the question!
You may also find information in the test that will correct a previous answer.
5.    Decide on and adopt study strategies that work best for you.
Review where you succeed and where you are challenged. Check out your academic support center or a trusted teacher for advice

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