In our last article, we began by discussing the various types of tests and what they each encompassed.
We also discussed the importance of having a strategy for test taking, as well as the "art" of learning to feel comfortable with the test format. I would now like to switch my focus and spend some time on the actual testing techniques.
We have all fell victim to the test that contains a wide variety of question types and we also have fell victim to a test that contains poorly written questions.
When this occurs, there is only one thing that a student can do. The first thing is you cannot panic. When we panic, our cerebral focus becomes scrambled and all of what we studied the weeks before is lost in our mind. A focused and confident mind will find success quicker than a mindful of content that is "foggy."
Test questions may range from true or false, multiple choice, matching, essay, fill-in-the-blank or short answer. We must be methodical in how we approach each type of test question. I will focus this article specifically on multiple choice test questions.
Please keep in mind that I am writing this article based- on the student who has prepared adequately for their upcoming test.
Now let's begin with the strategies. The first major item for test-taking success is to not arrive for the test early.
I am not saying to be late, but try to be just right on time. The reasoning is because when one arrives early for their test, they begin to feed into all the chatter among their classmates.
The other students will be discussing the content and what they think are right and wrong answers. This is a recipe for disaster. What the other students think is right may just be wrong. The problem is that you begin to second-guess yourself and your confidence level drops.
You should begin by working your way down through the test in order. One should not spend more than 45 seconds on a single multiple choice question before moving to the next.
The first and foremost item is to read the question in its entirety. Too many times, students will misread the question, which, in turn, will send them looking for answers in the wrong content area.
Most test questions will contain five choices for answers. Start by eliminating the ones that are most obviously wrong by drawing a line through them. Then start to circle the choices that you feel maybe correct. This is a simple process of elimination.
If you find that you have been on the question for more than 45 seconds it is time to place a marker beside the questions number and move to the next.
Remember that the brain requires a high level of glucose to function well, so don't use all of it on a single question. This process should continue on through the entire set of multiple choice questions.
Upon completion of the test you will circle back around to the take another "stab" at the question. Another important item is for the student to use the other questions on the test for clues and hints.
Many times the other questions will contain vital information that could help answer other questions. This is a matter of using all possible resources.
As you can see, a plan of attack or well-developed strategy can make all the difference when testing. You should not get frustrated, as these tips can take time to master.
A good place to start mastering these tips is to take practice testa. A practice test can be of great value and give you some confidence. Get practicing and good luck!
The next article will focus on essay writing.
Cordell is the owner of Excell Tutoring Services, 346 Broad St., Montoursville. He may be reached at 506-9998.