Test-Taking Skills Or how you learned to love -- or at least like, okay, maybe just pass -academic testing The Usual Suspects… True / False Multiple Choice Quantitative Short Answer Essay Open Book Before the test… Analyze past test results. Arrive early. Review the test first, assessing its worth. True and False… Every part of a true sentence must be true. Note negatives, qualifiers, absolutes, and long strings of statements. Review a teacher’s past test for patterns. Multiple Choice Tests Read directions slowly. Know if each question has more than one correct option. Know if you’re penalized for guessing. Select the option that most closely resembles your answer. Choose the truest option. But how do we eliminate Difficult options? Give each option a true/false test. Question options that don’t grammatically fit with the sentence. Doubt completely unfamiliar options. Question options with negative and/or absolute words. Consider and perhaps choose “look-alike” options. Quantitative Tests The Count says: I vant to help you count one, two, three, four, many, many ways! According to the Count… Read the entire test first. First work on the problems you definitely can solve to build confidence. Be aware of time constraints. Devote less time to easier questions, more to harder ones. Complete as much of a problem as possible. According to the Count (again)… When you get your exam, write down all the key formulas on the margin of your paper. Read the directions carefully and answer all parts of the question. Always show your work. Always, always, always review your answers! Short Answers Use grammatical clues to finish an answer. Let the instructor know if multiple answers could work. A common sense guess is better than a blank. Write answers in simple, concise sentences. Information is valued more than style. Essays Create a schedule to answer and review each essay. Outline your ideas. Know the essay’s beginning and end. Underline the topic’s key words and ideas, and be sure to address them. Don’t embellish; write your points. Strive for clarity, completeness, and compactness. Essays (continued) For the introduction, briefly introduce topic, and transition to thesis. An assertion, example(s), and explanation should structure each paragraph. Restate main points in conclusion, and leave readers something to ponder. Open Book Tests These tests evaluate your understanding rather than memorization. You will apply material to new situations. You will use your material as evidence for evaluations. To prepare for an open book test… Study! Prepare as you would for a regular test. To help you find material, highlight information in different colors. But you must understand the information to succeed. The book should supplement your own knowledge. THE END! “This is helpful! Let me count the ways!” Works Cited Department of Mathematics at Saint Louis University. “Success in Mathematics.” Saint Louis University. June 1993. Saint Louis University. 03 November 2007 <http://euler.slu.edu/Dept/SuccessinMath.html>. Landsberger, Joe. “Ten Tips for Test Taking.” Study Guides and Strategies. November 2007. 07 November 2007 <http://www.studygs.net/tsttak1.htm>. Richard, Cathy. “Study Skills.” Nicholls State University. Elkins Hall, Thibodaux. 23 August 2007. “Test Taking Tips.” Test Taking Tips. 2006. 07 November 2007.<http://www.testtakingtips.com/>.