Maybe you came across this article after searching for the phrase “how to become a better test taker” online. Perhaps, you fear taking a test because you end up scoring poorly.
Test-taking is an unpleasant experience for many students. However, most tests help students learn or practice what educators teach in the classroom.
Research indicates that students who test regularly learn and retain more content than learners who don’t take tests. What’s more, taking tests more often can reduce test anxiety. Thus, you can be more confident and comfortable doing the final exam if you take more tests.
Table of Contents
Why Am I Bad at Taking Tests?
Maybe you freeze whenever the educator presents a blank answer sheet in front of you. Perhaps, you experience cold sweats the night before the final exam. These are some of the signs of a bad test taker. However, you can improve your test-taking skills if you follow the tips and advice in this article.
Perhaps, the emotional or mental state is the reason for being bad at test-taking. For instance, your negative thinking makes you assume you will perform poorly or forget all the answers when taking a test. Maybe you have poor test preparation strategies that hinder you from confidently facing and taking the test.
Naturally, humans have a flight or fight instinct, which causes text anxiety. Consequently, exam takers that see the test as a threat experience automatic fear upon seeing it, making it hard for them to remember and apply their knowledge. If you experience distracting symptoms like a pounding heart, a queasy stomach, or a headache, doing the exam can be extremely difficult. However, learning effective exam strategies will make you a good test taker.
How to Be a Good Test Taker
Many students fear taking a test because they fear they will perform poorly. A student can’t perform well on any exam if they do not study. However, you can improve your test-taking ability, regardless of the exam’s nature. Here’s how to improve your test-taking skills.
- Get Informed
- Math tests
- Spelling tests
- Typing tests
- Laboratory tests
- Language tests
- Intelligence tests
- College admission tests
- Essay writing tests
- Think like the Educator
- Study Extensively
- Build Your Confidence
- Learn to Manage Your Time
Start by learning about the test you’re about to take. That way, you can avoid walking into the exam room unprepared for what you’re going to face. For instance, find out which test you will be taking. High school, college, and university students face different types of tests.
Students can take between 113 standardized tests from pre-K to twelfth grade. And each test has unique requirements that learners must meet to pass or proceed to the next class. Therefore, know the test you’ll take in advance and prepare accordingly.
Your teacher has probably assigned you homework, classwork, and handouts. Even daily notes could indicate the possible source of the test. Therefore, consider areas that the educator has tested the most in homework and other assignments. That way, you will know the textbook chapters or topics where they are likely to get the test. Also, considering such things can help you predict the possible test format.
As hinted, you can’t perform well in academic tests if you don’t study. Therefore, take enough time to analyze the test. Make your study aids, like flashcards, to memorize what you learn. Ideally, don’t re-read or highlight your notes when studying for the exam. Instead, use study aids or form a group with friends and ask each other questions.
Ideally, you must study and practice before taking a test to perform better. If you expect an essay writing test, practice outlining and writing it. If anticipating a math test, try solving several problems similar to what the educator has taught you in class. Create a list of several questions that you expect in the trial and ensure that you can answer all of them correctly.
You can’t learn how to take a test and perform better if you’re not confident in your abilities. Therefore, avoid any form of cognitive distortion because it will hurt you more. With such a mentality, you will have more stress before and during the test. Unfortunately, this test anxiety will only ruin your otherwise excellent score.
Therefore, start by believing in your ability to take the test and perform well. Stop telling yourself that you’re a poor test taker. Instead, believe in your abilities to take the test and score excellently.
Maybe you’re preparing for a timed exam. In that case, you must be vigilant with your time but not worried. You can’t claim to be good at taking a test if the time elapses before completing it. Therefore, learn to utilize the educator’s time to complete a test without rushing or procrastinating. For instance, if you have a math test, manage the educator’s time to solve all the problems. If taking an essay writing test, manage your time to have sufficient duration to understand the essay prompt, outline it, refine ideas, write, and edit or proofread the work.
What to Do to Become a Better Test Taker
Your attitude could be why you’re a terrible test taker. Therefore, consider working on it to improve your test-taking skills. Here’s how to do it.
- Ease up the perfectionist attitude: Don’t expect perfect scores with every test you take. Nevertheless, expect good results if you prepare correctly.
- Acknowledge the test: Don’t perceive the test as a punishment but a crucial step in your academic life.
- Relax: Try to avoid panicking and instead relax when facing difficult test questions.
- Think positively: Maintain a positive mentally during the test and remain calm.
Additionally, work on all doubts you may have, thinking you didn’t prepare for the exam. That way, you will avoid panicking if you face complex questions.
One exceptional way to make sure you are well-prepared for a test is to pay for homework help during your studies, so you know that professionals contributed to your knowledge.
Guide to Study Better for a Test
You require more than tips on how to get better at test-taking to excel academically. Even if you’re a good test taker, you won’t impress the educator if you don’t study for it. Here’s how to revise in preparation for a test.
- Develop a test schedule: Create a study schedule and stick to it. That way, you can always have time to study, which will become a habit.
- Study early: Don’t wait until the last minute to study everything you’ve learned during the term or semester. Instead, start revising early and beak each study session with breaks.
- Eradicate distractions: What is distraction according to you? That’s the first question to ask before eradicating them. For instance, music distracts some students while others find soothing songs motivating when studying. Therefore, determine what distracts you when revising and eliminate it.
- Practice: Practice taking tests after every study session. For instance, try solving math problems after a study session. That way, you will memorize the concepts you learn with every session.
- Use flashcards: Making flashcards enables you to recall more information than writing it down. What’s more, you can use flashcards for quick study sessions.
- Teach someone else what you’ve learned: Try to explain the study material to another person. Ensure that you can present every concept clearly and answer any of their questions. That way, you will understand the class material better.
Everybody has a better way to study, understand, and recall what they learn in class. Therefore, use these tips as a guide. Nevertheless, they are crucial to grasp when learning how to test better.
More Tips on How to Do Well on a Test
The above tips on how to be a better test taker may help you prepare for an exam. However, they might not show you how to do well in it. Therefore, you might be wondering, what are some tips for successful testing? The following methods can help you take a test and perform excellently in it.
- Take the test after studying correctly: Ensure that you have appropriately studied for the test. That way, you won’t have a reason to worry when walking into an exam room.
- Get adequate rest: You will have a good memory recall if you take enough time to rest before the test. Research has shown that people that get enough sleep before a test perform better in academic examinations.
- Understand the test instructions: Your teacher may share the instructions while handing out the test. They can also issue written test instructions. Therefore, take the time to listen or read and understand the instructions before working on the questions. Understand what to write in every section. If it’s an essay writing test, know the number of words to include and the questions to answer. If it’s a math test, check the instructions to see the number of problems to solve.
- Address each question at a time: Don’t jump from one question to another. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t spend too much time on it. Instead, skip the question or answer it according to your abilities. Once you’ve responded to the other questions, you can come back to attempt it again.
- Relax: This guide on how to take a test well and perform better won’t be complete without advising you to relax during the exam if you come across a stressful question. Ideally, take a mini-break if a question makes you nervous. Taking a break doesn’t mean getting up to move around during a test. It can be something simple, like wiggling your toes and fingers, taking several deep breaths, or picturing yourself somewhere calm relaxing. Whatever works for you, do it to relax your mind because this will help you answer the rest of the questions.
- Check your work: Even if you finish answering all the questions before the test time elapses, spend extra time checking your work. Also, consider adding details that you may have left when tackling some questions. And if you realize that only five minutes are remaining and you haven’t answered all the questions, use this time to wind up without panicking.
Follow these tips on how to take tests better, and you will perform excellently in your upcoming exam. However, you might need to consult your teacher, parent, or counselor if you experience severe test-taking terror.
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