Test-taking Strategies

Test-taking Strategies

Developing effective test-taking strategies could be the difference between failing and succeeding. Good test-taking or exam techniques can assist you to achieve the best results possible.

There are many test-taking techniques that can allow for maximum success if enough study and preparation have been done. If possible, before the test, you should find out what types of questions will be on it. Knowing this information provides an opportunity to study strategically and plan out how questions could be answered. Some students like to do multiple-choice questions first, as they seem easier and quicker; others like to do extended responses first so as not to ‘forget’ key points. In order to know what works best for you, try a variety of combinations in practice tests to see what you prefer. Note, once you have test strategy or plan, you should stick to it; last minute changes can result in unnecessary confusion and stress.

Follow these simple techniques for optimal  success:

  • Use reading time effectively – look over the question(s) that you are going to do first, and use this time to mentally prepare your answer(s).
  • Use allocated marks to give you clues about how much information to include. Generally, 1 mark is allocated to 1 key piece of information.
  • Make sure answers are concise, clear and complete.
  • Keep an eye on the clock – make sure you allow yourself enough time to complete the test and have time to check your answers before handing in the test.
  • Reread your answers before submitting the exam – try to imagine you're the Educator marking it. Is your writing legible? Do your answers make sense? Have you put in enough information?