Test-Taking Goals

Test-Taking Goals
♦ identify your reactions to test taking
♦ determine how your reactions to test taking affect
your ability to be successful
♦ use the ‘ten rules’ of test-taking
♦ identify and explain winning strategies for different
types of tests
♦ explain the difference between paper tests and
computer tests
♦ use this information to improve your testing
Testing Self Check
Y = y e s ; fre q u e n tly
S = s o m e tim e s
N = no; never
1 . I kn o w th a t a lo w te s t g ra d e d o e s n o t m a ke m e a fa ilu re .
2 . I re a lize th a t is it o ka y n o t to k n o w e ve ryth in g o n a te s t.
3 . I fo llo w b o th w ritte n a n d o ra l te st d ire c tio n s c a re fu lly.
4 . B e fo re I b e g in a te st, I p re -vie w it b y lo o k in g fo r th e p o in t va lu e s .
5 . W h e n p re vie w in g m y te s ts , I lo o k fo r a n s w e rs to o th e r q u e s tio n s .
6 . I b u d g e t m y tim e e ffe c tive ly w h e n I ta k e a te s t.
8 . I a m a w a re o f th e d iffe re n ce s b e tw e e n c o m p u te r-b a se d a n d p a p e r te s ts .
9 . I re vie w re tu rn e d te s ts fo r to p ic s I n e e d to u n d e rs ta n d b e tte r.
1 0 . I le a rn fro m m y te s tin g m is ta k e s .
7 . O n p a p e r te s ts , I d o th e e a s ie st q u e s tio n s firs t a n d co m e b a c k la te r to
th e h a rd e r o n e s .
R a te Y o u rs e lf:
N u m b e r o f Y ’s
N u m b e r o f S ’s
N u m b e r o f N ’s
Stress, Tests, and You
♦ How does test taking affect you?
♦ calm and relaxed
♦ tense and uptight
♦ How does your body react?
♦ muscles tighten
♦ appetite disappear
♦ overeat
♦ Do your sleeping habits change?
♦ Is your breathing steady?
♦ yawn a lot before a test
Good Stress
♦ helps you perform better
♦ even when you feel anxious or
♦ gets your adrenaline flowing
♦ can sharpen your awareness
♦ keeps you alert
♦ helps you become motivated
♦ energizes your body
Bad Stress
♦ makes performing or achieving your goals
♦ may be linked to increased health problems
♦ depression
♦ heart disease
♦ cancer
♦ demotivates you
♦ zaps your energy
♦ is a symptom of test anxiety
♦ can prevent you from doing your best on
Stress Reactions
S tress R eactio n s to Tests
B efo re,
D u rin g , o r
A fter
_____ I feel nervous.
_____ I feel excited.
_____ I feel relieved .
_____ I feel optim istic and m ak e positive com m ents.
_____ I usually g et a headache.
_____ M y neck , back, or shoulders ache.
_____ I usually feel pretty g ood.
_____ M y breathing is rapid and shallow .
_____ I feel pessim istic and m ak e neg ative.
com m ents
Stress Reactions cont’d
_ _ _ _ _ M y b re a th in g is re la xe d a n d d e e p .
_ _ _ _ _ M y h e a rt p o u n d s, a n d m y p a lm s sw e a t.
_ _ _ _ _ I lo se m y a p p e tite .
_ _ _ _ _ I p a n ic.
_ _ _ _ _ I h a ve tro u b le sle e p in g .
_ _ _ _ _ M y m in d g o e s b la n k.
_ _ _ _ _ I’m a fra id I w o n ’t h a ve e n o u g h tim e to fin ish .
_ _ _ _ _ I w o rry th a t I’ve stu d ie d th e w ro n g th in g s.
_ _ _ _ _ I w o rry th a t I h a ve d o n e p o o rly.
_ _ _ _ _ I a m co n fid e n t in m y a b ility to d o w e ll.
_ _ _ _ _ I a m a fra id I d o n ’t kn o w e ve ryth in g .
_ _ _ _ _ I fe e l stu p id .
_____ ____________________________
Letting Go of Anxiety
♦ Dealing with Feelings
♦ breathe
♦ scan your body
♦ tense and relax
♦ use guided imagery
♦ describe it
♦ exercise aerobically
♦ get help
Letting Go of Anxiety
♦ Dealing with Thoughts
♦ mentally yell ‘STOP’
♦ daydream
♦ visualize success
♦ focus
♦ praise yourself
♦ consider the worst
Ten Rules of Test-Taking
Rule 1: Act as if you will succeed.
♦ thought is powerful
♦ negative thoughts raise stress levels
♦ confidence may drop
♦ leads to feelings of failure
♦ think about success
♦ smile
♦ take deep, slow breaths
♦ close your eyes
♦ imagine getting test back with a good grade
written at the top
♦ learn more about visualization and
positive self-talk
Ten Rules of Test-Taking
Rule 2: Arrive ahead of time.
♦ being on time sets your mind at ease
♦ have a better chance of getting your
favorite seat
♦ let go of your anxiety
♦ spend time relaxing and preparing
yourself for the game ahead
Ten Rules of Test-Taking
Rule 3: Bring the essential testing tools.
♦ extra pens, sharpened pencils, erasers, a
calculator, dictionary, other needed items
♦ if open-book:
♦ notes – create your own index
♦ textbook – plan on using text’s index
♦ Post-It© notes placed at important spots
♦ flashcards you have made
♦ other study tools you have made
Ten Rules of Test-Taking
Rule 4: Ignore panic pushers.
♦ people who ask you questions about the
material to be tested on
♦ people who ask about how much or long you
♦ if you know the answers
♦ you will be confident
♦ if you do not know the answers
♦ you may panic and lose your confidence
♦ spend your time concentrating on what
you know, not what you don’t know
Ten Rules of Test-Taking
Rule 5: Pre-view the playing field.
♦ listen to instructions
♦ read directions slowly and carefully
♦ clarify anything you do not understand
♦ determine the point spread
♦ decide how much time you can spend on each
question and still finish the test on time
♦ know the point value; ask if necessary
♦ look for easier and more challenging
♦ do these first
Rule 5 continued
♦ budget your time
♦ look at point value of a section not the
number of questions
♦ stick to your time limits on sections
♦ budget time to look over the test at end
♦ use the test as an information tool
♦ look for clues that answer other questions
♦ use terminology from objective questions for
Ten Rules of Test-Taking
Rule 6: Write in the margin.
♦ before you begin the test; do a memory
dump; write down:
♦ key terms
♦ names
♦ dates
♦ memory aids
♦ formulas
♦ any information you’ll need and might forget
♦ do an outline or mind map before starting
each essay question
Ten Rules of Test-Taking
Rule 7: Complete the easiest, shortest questions
♦ helps build your experience of success
♦ stimulates associations and prepares you for
more difficult questions
♦ mark tough questions so you can come back
♦ avoid spending too much time on a challenging
♦ might run out of time to answer the questions
you do know
♦ if you are stuck, move on
Ten Rules of Test-Taking
Rule 8: Know if there is a guessing penalty.
♦ no penalty and time is running out
♦ take a wild guess (true or ‘c’)
♦ there is a penalty
♦ choose your answers wisely
♦ leave blank the answers you do not know
♦ unsure about guessing penalties
♦ ask your instructor
Ten Rules of Test-Taking
Rule 9: Avoid changing answers.
♦ research has shown that three out of four
times your first choice is usually correct
♦ if you think your first answer is wrong
because you misread the question
♦ do change your answer
♦ avoid changing answers unless you are
absolutely sure your answer is wrong
Ten Rules of Test-Taking
Rule 10: Write clearly and neatly.
♦ easy to read
♦ look presentable
♦ answers in the right places
♦ easier it is for the instructor to read
♦ better your chances of getting a higher grade
True-False Questions
♦ read directions carefully
♦ usually easier as you have only two choices
♦ read the whole statement carefully
♦ one word can make a statement inaccurate
♦ look for absolute or limiting words
♦ examples: always, every, all, no, never, none,
only, entirely, guaranteed, great, much, etc.
♦ leave little room for exceptions
♦ sentences containing these words would seldom
be true
True-False Questions
♦ look for tentative words.
♦ examples: seldom, sometimes, some,
often, most, many, few, usually,
generally, frequently, ordinarily, etc.
♦ provide room for exceptions
♦ sentences containing these words would
usually be true
♦ long true-false statement
♦ more likely is true
True-False Questions
♦ any part of it is false
♦ whole statement is false
♦ watch for negative words and prefixes
♦ examples: not, never, none, no, except,
etc. and il-, im-, ir-, dis-, un-, non-, a-, etc.
♦ circle or underline these negatives
♦ do not disregard them
♦ consider omitting the word
♦ decide the answer without the negative
♦ put the word back in
♦ reverse the answer
Sample True-False Test
_ _ _ _ _ _ 1 . A ll p e o p le h a ve sim ila r w a ys o f le a rn in g .
______ 2.
M e n a re u su a lly p h ysica lly stro n g e r th a n w o m e n .
_ _ _ _ _ _ 3 . R o te m e m o riza tio n is th e m o st e fficie n t w a y to le a rn .
_ _ _ _ _ _ 4 . S o m e stu d e n ts stu d y a lo t, b u t n o o n e stu d ie s a s m u ch a s th e y sh o u ld .
_ _ _ _ _ _ 5 . T h e w a y to le a rn th e m o st e ffe ctive ly is n o t to g ive in to d istra ctio n s.
_ _ _ _ _ _ 6 . S o m e b ird s d o n o t fly.
_ _ _ _ _ _ 7 . C o lle g e is a lw a ys h a rd e r th a n h ig h sch o o l.
_ _ _ _ _ _ 8 . F o r a jo b in te rvie w , yo u m u st w e a r cle a n , n e a tly p re sse d clo th e s a n d lo o k p re se n ta b le .
_ _ _ _ _ _ 9 . S m a rt stu d e n ts a lw a ys stu d y tw o to th re e h o u rs e a ch d a y fo r e ve ry c la ss.
_ _ _ _ _ _ 1 0 . F re q u e n tly, stu d e n ts le a ve to o m u ch stu d yin g to d o u n til fin a ls w e e k.
Multiple-Choice Questions
♦ read directions carefully
♦ how many correct answers are possible?
♦ are you looking for the correct answer(s)
or the best answer or the worst answer?
♦ are you looking for similarities or
♦ do you need a singular or plural answer?
♦ clarify if you are not sure
Multiple-Choice Questions
♦ be wary of ‘all of the above’ or ‘none of the
above’ responses especially if not used very
♦ often are ‘fill’ answers
♦ answer each question in your head before
you look at the possible answers
♦ read the question and each option separately
♦ make sure you consider all options
♦ consider each as a true or false statement
♦ mark it to the side accordingly
Multiple-Choice Questions
♦ be suspicious of negatives and absolutes
♦ circle or underline these to make sure you are
aware of them
♦ answer negatives positively first, then the
exception will stand out
♦ carefully consider similar options, opposite
answers, more general or more inclusive
♦ learn how to make educated guesses
Sample Multiple-Choice
______ 1.
B ears can be found w andering
a) in the w oods.
b) in parks.
c) in fields.
d) in the m ountains.
e) all of the above
______ 2.
S tudents freq uently succeed in test taking because
a) all tests are easy.
c) they alw a ys do their assig nm ents on tim e.
b) they are usually prepared.
d) they alw a ys try hard.
______ 3.
M ig raine headaches are m ost com m only caused by
a) allerg ic reactions to food.
c) allerg ic reactions to m edicine.
b) lack of sleep.
d) heredity.
______ 4.
T he reasons m ost students g ive for failing tests include
a) studying the w rong inform ation.
c) not having enoug h tim e to study.
b) cram m ing and being unprepared.
d) being g iven unfair tests.
______ 5.
A ll of the follow ing are ing redients of student success except
a) taking g ood notes.
c) learning from m istakes.
b) studying ahead of tim e.
d) cram m ing for exam s.
Sample Multiple-Choice
______ 6.
______ 7.
S tudents g o to class because
a) since it is necessary.
b) inform ation is being taug ht.
c) it is the m ost fun w ay to spend the day.
d) the law of xfg hot recom m ends it.
W hich statem ent(s) is (are) not correct?
a) S tudents often study in the library.
b) S tudents do not study enoug h.
c) M ost students should try to study m ore.
d) A ll professors should g ive essay tests.
______ 8.
C olleg es often
a) g et torn dow n.
b) try to educate students in the w orst possible m anner w ith the g reatest am ount of expense.
c) chang e their nam es.
d) try to educate students in the best possible m anner w ith the least am ount of expense.
______ 9.
T he distance from P aris to N ew Y ork is approxim ately
a) 3000 – 4000 m iles.
c) 9000 – 10,000 m iles
b) 10 – 20 kilom eters
d) 500 – 100 m iles
Scantron Tests
♦ make sure the answer you mark corresponds to the
question you are answering
♦ check the test booklet against the answer sheet
♦ you switch sections
♦ come to the top of a column
♦ if you skip a question
♦ make sure you are marking the correct answer spot
♦ watch for stray marks
♦ can be ‘read’ as answers
♦ use the right kind of pencil
Matching Questions
♦ when used
♦ usually only a part of a test
♦ similar to multiple choice
♦ only the correct response needs to be
♦ more challenging
♦ must locate the matching terms or ideas
from a list
Matching Questions
♦ read directions carefully
♦ ask questions if necessary
♦ can options be used more than once?
♦ are you looking for similar or opposite
terms or ideas?
♦ count number of choices in each column
♦ if not equal – work from longer column to
shorter column
Matching Questions
♦ consider each option each time
♦ systematically eliminate distracters
♦ answer the easiest ones first
♦ where possible, cross off the used ones
♦ consider grammatical clues
♦ match up nouns, adjectives, events, dates
♦ mentally repeat the choices
♦ helps you to focus
Sample Matching Test
______ 1.
A c tive L e a rn in g
A . L iste n in g fo r in s tru c to r c lu e s
______ 2.
B a c k g ro u n d k n o w le d g e
B . G e ttin g a n o ve rvie w o f a c h a p te r
______ 3.
C ritic a l T h in k in g
C . W h a t yo u a lre a d y k n o w
______ 4.
P re vie w in g
D . Id e a lis tic , b u t im p ra c tic a l
______ 5.
P a s s ive L e a rn in g
E . U s e d fo r e ffic ie n t stu d yin g a n d livin g
______ 6.
M in d W a n d e rin g
F . L o o k o ve r o r vie w g e n e ra lly
______ 7.
L e a rn in g In flu e n c e s
G . S o m e th in g s th a t a ffe c t yo u r c o n c e n tra tio n
______ 8.
S k im m in g a n d s c a n n in g
H . L e a rn in g lik e a ro ck
______ 9.
T im e M a n a g e m e n t
I. L e a rn in g lik e a s p o n g e
______ 10.
S u rve y
J . H ig h o r fa st re a d in g g e a rs .
______ 11.
T e st-T a k in g
K . N o te -ta k in g m e th o d
______ 12.
Q u ixo tic
L . U s e d fo r e va lu a tio n
M . C a n o n ly b e re d u c e d n o t e lim in a te d
N . T h in k in g a b o u t th in k in g
Fill-in-the-Blank Questions
♦ usually are only a part of a test
♦ more difficult than multiple-choice,
matching or true-false sections
♦ leave this part until the last
♦ look for the answer in other questions
♦ use memory techniques when stuck
♦ reword the question so that the blank
is at the end, if possible
Fill-in-the-Blank Questions
♦ watch for grammatical clues
♦ is the verb singular or plural?
♦ does the word “a” or “an” appear before
the blank?
♦ your answer must make sense in the
context in which it is written
♦ consider the length of the blank; usually:
♦ a short blank means a short answer
♦ a long blank means a long answer
♦ two blanks means a two-word answer
Sample Fill-in-theBlank Test
_ _ __ _ __ _ __ __ _ __ _ ___ _ __ _ __ _ __ __ _ is th e p ro ce ss fo r b e co m in g a citize n .
T he la rge st an im a l in th e w o rld is a __ _ __ _ __ _ __ _ __ _ __ __ _ __ _ __.
_ _ __ _ __ _ _ _ __ __ _ ___ _ _ _ _ __ __ _ __ __ _ is th e co lle ctive n a m e of S u p e rio r, H u ro n , E rie ,
O n ta rio , a nd M ich iga n .
_ _ __ _ __ _ __ __ _ __ _ ___ _ m e an s pu ttin g off do in g so m e th in g un p leasa n t o r b u rde n som e un til
a fu tu re tim e .
A ll re a d e rs sh o u ld le a rn to rea d fa ste r b e ca u se it in cre a se s th e ir _ ___ _ __ _ __ _ __ __ _ __ _ ___ .
T he be st w a y to b u ild vo ca bu la ry is to u se yo ur _ _ _ __ __ _ __ _ __ _ _ __ _ __ _ __ _ __ __ _ __ _ ___ .
A n __ _ __ __ _ __ _ _ le a rn e r is o ne w h o ta ke s re sp on sib ility fo r h is o r h e r le a rn in g an d le a rn s
from m ista ke s.
L io n s a re m o st like ly to b e fo un d in _ __ _ __ ___ _ __ _ __ _ __ __ _ .
Short Answer Questions
♦ think before you write
♦ generally requires an answer of only a few
♦ look for key words
♦ learn these definitions
♦ start off by restating the key words in your answer
♦ give direct, concise answers
♦ over-learning material really pays off
♦ when you are unsure of the answer:
♦ guess if there are no guessing penalties
♦ leave plenty of space between answers
Essay Questions
♦ test directions are especially important
♦ how many essay questions do you need to
♦ how long should the essay be?
♦ how should you budget your time?
♦ what type of answers should you give?
♦ use the list of key words
♦ how many components do you need to
respond to within the question?
Essay Questions
♦ write for the intended audience
♦ intended audience is your professor
♦ write as though the reader knows nothing
about the topic
♦ write in essay form; this means:
♦ paragraphs
♦ topic sentences
♦ transition words between paragraphs
♦ complete sentences
♦ etc.
Essay Questions
♦ organize your ideas before you begin
♦ think about how the ideas flow
♦ consider using an outline or mind map in
the margin
♦ enables you to write faster
♦ less likely to leave out important facts
♦ if you don’t have time to finish:
♦ your outline could win you some points
Essay Questions
♦ get to the point quickly
♦ forget introductions
♦ include part of the question in your
♦ when you expand your answer with
supporting materials and facts,
♦ start out with the most solid points
♦ be accurate grammatically and with
♦ consider using a pocket dictionary if
Essay Questions
♦ make your paper easy to read
♦ write neatly
♦ use an erasable pen
♦ write on the right-hand side of your test
♦ leave the left side for making changes and additions
leave space between answers
write on top side of paper only
leave margins – side, top, and bottom
name, date, and number every loose page
summarize your answer first
substitute synonyms for words you use frequently
use connecting words to make the essay flow
Essay Questions
♦ proofread your answers
♦ silently reread
♦ word for word
♦ pronounce every word in your head
♦ catch grammatical and spelling mistakes
♦ look at flow of ideas and organization
Performance Tests
♦ different than written tests
♦ require a performance or demonstration
♦ preparation:
♦ study and understand the information you
have to demonstrate
♦ practice until you are sure you can perform
the required task well
♦ study, then practice, practice, practice
Open-Book Tests
♦ prepare thoroughly for these
♦ usually more difficult
♦ when studying:
♦ write down any formulas you will need on a
separate sheet
♦ place Post-It © notes or paper clips on
important pages
♦ tables, flowcharts, etc.
♦ number notes and make a short table of
Computer-Based Tests
♦ usually multiple choice
♦ score based on how well you answer and
on the number of questions you answer
♦ usually a penalty for wrong answers
♦ testing time management is key
♦ complete on-line tutorials and sample
questions before attempting test
♦ visit web site of the test maker for more
information on the test
Computer-Based Tests
♦ results are usually provided immediately
♦ before you finish you may have the
opportunity to cancel the results before you
see your score
♦ if you cancel:
♦ you will need to reschedule another testing
♦ you will pay again
♦ if you see your score
♦ cannot cancel the test
♦ must accept the results
Computer-Based Tests
♦ linear mode:
♦ questions are preset and given in numerical
♦ can return to any question
Computer-Based Tests
♦ computer- adaptive
♦ selects the difficulty of the next question
based on your previous answer
♦ you must answer the question the first
time you see it
♦ you cannot go back and change your
♦ taking a test is like playing a game
♦ object of the game is to get as many points as
possible in the time you are given to play
♦ remember there is always another opportunity
to play the game, or take a test
♦ you can use these strategies for every type of
test you take
♦ may not work all the time
♦ works most of the time
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