If I know the content of my course, I should be able to do well on my test, right? Well, not exactly! If you have prepared well and understand the material, you still need to do the following in order to perform well on your test:
This section will cover the following topics and strategies:
Do a memory dump.
Write down everything you can remember about the topic before crafting any answer. This is helpful in the event you forget later on or anxiety is a problem.
Read directions carefully.
Professors say that most marks are lost at this stage, i.e. students are in such a hurry to answer the question that they misread it.
Do the easiest questions first.
Some students think you should do the hard questions first but doing the easiest ones first helps you build confidence as well as guaranteeing you marks!
Budget Time Wisely: TOOL Timing Your Exam (17 KB)
2. Answering Different Question Types
The most common question types on undergraduate exams are: multiple choice, short answer, essay, and problem-based.
Most students have a preference for certain styles. This is most often due to their personal cognitive and learning style. For example, a student who excels at multiple choice might prefer:
Conversely, a student who excels at an essay exam question might prefer:
Unfortunately, students cannot choose their preferred question type and in some cases an exam might contain questions in only one type. Multiple choice tests, for instance, are very common in undergraduate courses with anywhere from 50-100% of the questions written in this format. Therefore, you will need to learn HOW to study for different types of test questions.
Special Techniques for Math and Science Tests (16 KB)
3. Reducing Test Anxiety
And, you are NOT alone!
Test anxiety is super common among university students. Why?
Aside from real and growing external pressures (e.g. from universities and employers) for students to get high grades, test anxiety is also rooted in internal (i.e. self-imposed) pressures.
Some of these pressures are:
The good news is that test anxiety can be beaten! With some effective strategies that you practice regularly before and during the test, you can learn to manage your anxiety.
Keep in mind that a bit of anxiety is necessary during an exam as it keeps you motivated and alert. However, once you go over your threshold for tolerance, it's time to take control. The TOOLS below provided a number of strategies to help you reduce your test anxiety.
for Math & Science Anxiety
Math and science anxiety: What's Behind it? (19 KB)
Overcoming Math & Science Anxiety. And You Can! (17 KB)