Strategies for When You Take the Test • • • • • • • • • • • Spend the most time on the questions that are worth the most points. Getting the most points is your job---remain focused on the job! Don’t obsess over or spend too much time on questions worth only a small number of points. Keep an eye on how much time is left to complete the test so that you spend your time smartly. Try to complete as many easy questions as you can before going to the most difficult questions. Gather up your points quickly when possible! When you get stuck on a problem or question, consider moving on and coming back to it later. Don’t get bogged down on one difficult question at the expense of ones that you might be able to answer easily. Take the time to explain the points you make in an essay question. Pretend that you are explaining the concept to someone you know. Write clearly and answer all the parts of a question in order. For problem-solving tests, show all of your work. Some professors give partial credit for work done. Start the test with the idea that you will stay for the entire testing period---every allotted minute of it! This will make you less tempted to give rushed answers and give you time to check over your answers. Read each question in its entirety. Underline the key words in the instructions that cue you to what the question requires you to do. Follow the directions exactly. Often questions on an exam will be related to each other. Look for these relationships to get clues to the answers to questions that are related. • • • • If there is no penalty for guessing, then you have nothing to lose by trying to answer every question on the exam. Think about the context of the question. How would it be answered in the textbook or lecture? Don’t answer based on your personal opinion or something you heard in another class unless the instructor says that is acceptable or the question asks for your opinion. Most of the time, your first answer is the best choice. If you change your answer, make sure it is for a specific reason, not just a gut feeling or intuition. Check your essays for grammar and punctuation before turning in your test paper. This document was compiled by Shirley “Mandy” Sexton, Ph.D.