Taking the Test

Here are four test tips to help you improve your test taking skills and improve your score. If you are great at taking tests, then do whatever you always do. Otherwise, take a few minutes and review the below:

Test Tip #1 – Interpreting the Problem

  • Step 1 – cover the answers and read the problem once carefully. Try to identify what the question is really asking.
  • Step 2 – read the problem again. This time look for tricks or traps; be alert for negatives (“Which of the following is NOT…”)
  • Step 3 – try to visualize the correct answer without looking at the choices.
  • Step 4 – check the choices and locate your answer.
    • If you don’t find a close match, re-read the problem and re-think your solution, matching each of the test answers against the objective phrase.
    • If you do find a close match, that’s good. Just be aware that the people creating the test will often anticipate the most likely wrong answers and present these as possible test solutions.
  • Step 5 – select your answer.
  • Step 6 – re-read the problem and double check your answer.

Test Tip #2 – Time

Do not get bogged down with any one question. If the answer doesn’t come within a reasonable time, take a guess and mark the question so you can come back to it later.

Test Tip #3 – Questions and Answers

As you take the test, you will find that each question falls into one of four categories:

  • Question Category 1 – I know it!
    • You read the question, you remember the material, and you might even recall an example used in this book.
  • Question Category 2 – I know it…maybe…
    • The second type of question is a bit more challenging. After reading the problem, you will be fairly certain that the correct answer is “C”. But when you re-read the question, answer “B” will look even better.
    • Be careful, studies show that our FIRST choice is usually the RIGHT choice! If you KNOW your first answer is wrong, then change it of course. However, if you’re not sure, then go with your first answer. Don’t change one guess with another guess!
  • Question Category 3 – this one is tough!
  • Follow these steps.
    • Eliminate any obviously incorrect answers.
    • If you’ve really never heard of an answer, eliminate it.
    • Look at “nearby” questions for help. The good news is that sometimes, the test questions are grouped together by topic. This means that you may be able to use the information in one question to help you answer another question.
    • After you’ve narrowed down the choices, select the one that you think is the best answer. Sometimes you may find two or more “right” answers, but your job is to decide which is “most right”.
  • Question Category 4 – I have absolutely no idea….
  • You read this fourth type of question and you really have no idea what the answer is.
  • Don’t despair – just guess! This test doesn’t penalize for guessing, so you have nothing to lose.

Test Tip #4 – Finishing in Style

You are finished. But just to be sure…

  • Check that you have answered all the questions.
  • Double-check your answers for carelessness.
  • Re-visit questions that you were unsure about.