Test Taking Strategies

If you are in college you know that finally, after all your hard work and sacrifice, the day of the test will inevitably arrive. The following test taking strategies may improve your test taking ability:


  • Make sure you know exactly how much time your professor has allocated for the test. Check periodically to see if you are keeping up. For example, when half of your time is up make sure you are half way through your test.
  • Do not waste time on difficult problems. If one of the questions is confusing or you do not know the answer, circle it or put a star by it and come back to it later.
  • Review your answers if you have time. When you review them more slowly you may find that there is a better answer. 
  • TRY NOT TO READ INTO THE TEST. Sometimes people read into a question, think that some items are trick questions, or too easy. Instead of it being too easy, it may be that you studied effectively and remember the material well.FOR MULTIPLE CHOICE TESTS:
  • Anticipate the answer before you look at them.
  • Read over all of your options.
  • Eliminate highly implausible answers.
  • Some examiners give away answers in their tests. By answering one question, you may be able to deduce the answer to another.
  • If you must guess, keep in mind the following tips for multiple choice tests:

    The popular belief is that "your first hunch is your best hunch." Several of our students feel that they should not go back and change their answers. This popular belief is wrong. Research has shown that changes from a wrong answer to a right answer outnumber changes that go from a right answer to a wrong answer by a margin of approximately 3 to 1. Research has also shown that changing answers improve students scores!


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    The Help Screens (HS) & the Counseling Center Help Screens (CCHS) were created by Carlos P. Zalaquett, Ph.D.

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