Test Taking Techniques

1. Always put your full name and section on all your test papers. This prevents them from being
lost even if they get separated. Follow specific instructions for filling out machine scored answer
sheets.

2. Glance over the entire test.

3. Read the instructions carefully. Audio learners: say them very softly to yourself!)

4. Answer the questions you know first.

5. If there is a formula or an answer you might forget, do that question or problem immediately.

6. Budget your time. Find out which questions or problems are worth many points and devote
the bulk of your time to those.

7. Answer all the questions. If there is no penalty for guessing, it is foolish to leave a blank
space on a multiple choice test. Guess if you must.

8. On a multiple choice tests try to immediately eliminate all but two of the answers, then think
about making a choice between the remaining two. Do hot spend too much time at one question.
Make your best guess and move on. Mark the question as one to return to if time permits, if you
are not sure of your answer.

9. For matching questions, use the process of elimination again if possible, read the
instructions carefully first, however. If the instructions indicate that the answers may be
used "once, more than once, or not at all", the process of elimination method will not work.

10. Remember that this is a test. Read the questions carefully and keep in mind that some
common words have specific meanings in Science. “Velocity” is not the same thing as “speed”.
Look for these terms as you read.

11. Is there a number or word you cannot read? A word that you are not familiar with? Ask your
instructor for as much clarification as he can give you. Do not wait until the test is returned to
say "I thought that number was a 3 not an 8." Even teachers are not mind readers!

12. When you are finished, check over the entire test to be sure you have not skipped any
questions. Reread the questions of which you were not sure the first time through. Don't worry
about changing an answer: It is not true that your first guess is always the best one! However
many students, your instructor was one, that upon thinking too much would change a correct
answer to a wrong one.

Of course, there is no substitute for being thoroughly prepared. Pay attention in class, participate and
ask questions, use your study time effectively, and ask for extra help if you need it. Test time will
then not be quite so intimidating.