The bane of every college student is taking tests. When you think about a test, you are pitting yourself against the teacher. The teacher has a strategy for making up the test that’s based upon what you are expected to know. It’s your challenge to respond to that strategy. Now imagine the teacher as a computer game designer and yourself as the game player. Is there a lot of difference in taking a test and playing a computer game? Not really if you think about the test as a challenge og figuring out the teacher’s test strategy. Sure you have to know something, but if you followed the guidance in the section on Being an Efficient Learner, you’ll obtain the knowledge you need. Now what’s your game strategy? Outlined below are some general strategies for taking tests.
- Read the question carefully. You will be surprised by how many points are lost by students answering the wrong question. In our society today, we are conditioned to skim what we read. We perceive what we are being asked without really understanding what is really being asked.
- Go through the test and answer every question you are sure you know. This builds momentum and confidence and it can help with other questions you are not sure of.
- For the remaining questions, start with the ones that are the highest point value (if appropriate). Then go to the questions you think you know but are not quite sure of. See if your prior answers help give a clue. The same answer rarely appears more than once on a test.
- Have a strategy for each type of test question. You can learn these strategies by reading other topics in this section.
- If you panic when taking the test, close your eyes and count to 100. While you are doing this, think about something pleasant. This should calm you down. When you return to the test, find one question you are sure of and work from there.
- Check random answers on the scantron to make sure you haven’t missed a question and put your answers on the wrong line.
- For math/science/engineering tests, rework the problems you are unsure of. When you just review your work, you are assuming your approach was right. You’ll maybe catch a wrong approach when you rework the problem.
- Don’t change an answer unless you have a clear reason to do so. Lots of points are lost when you second guess yourself.
When you play a new computer game, you’re probably not very good at the start, but as you go along you begin to figure out the game. The some approach works for tests if you develop a strategy that works for you. .