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Test-Taking

The Objective Test - True/False Test

  1. Listen and read carefully. Fort the question to be true, the entire question must be true. If any part of the statement is false, the entire statement is false.

  2. Pay attention to details. Read dates, names, and places carefully. Sometimes the dates are changed around (1949…1449) or wording is changed slightly and this can change the meaning.

  3. Watch for qualifiers-words such as always, all, never, every, etc. The question is often false since there are almost always exceptions. If you can think of one exception then the statement is false.

  4. Watch for double negatives. Remember two negatives make a positive. (ex: It is unlikely that water will not freeze at zero degrees centigrade.)

  5. Watch for faulty cause and effect. The true statement may be connected by a word that implies cause and effect, and this may make the statement false. (ex. Temperature is measured on the centigrade scale because water freezes at zero degrees centigrade.)

  6. Always answer every question. Unless there is a penalty, answer every question. You have a 50/50 chance of being right.

  7. Trust your instincts. Often your first impression is correct. Don't change an answer unless you are certain it is wrong.

 

Multiple Choice Test

  1. Read the question carefully. Are you being asked for the correct answer or the best choice? Is there more than one answer? Preview the test to see if an answer may be included in a statement or question.

  2. Use critical thinking. Answer the question yourself before looking at the possible answers. Rephrase the question into your own words.

  3. Eliminate choices. Narrow your choices by reading through the choices and eliminating those that you know are incorrect.

  4. Go from easy to difficult. Go through the test and complete those that you know the answers to. This will give you a feeling of confidence. Don't use all your time on a few questions.

  5. Watch for combinations. Read the question carefully and don't just choose the correct answer. Some questions offer a combination of choices such as, "All of the above," "Both A and B," or "None of the above."

  6. Look at sentence structure. Make sure the grammatical structure of the question agrees with your choice.

 

Matching Test

  1. Read carefully. Read both lists quickly and watch for cues.

  2. Eliminate. As you answer those questions you know, cross them out unless it tells you that an answer can be used more than once. Elimination is the key in a matching test.

  3. Look at sentence structure. Often verbs are matched to verbs. Read the entire sentence.

 

Fill-in-the-Blank Test

  1. Watch for clues. If the word before the blank is "an", the word in the blank generally begins with a vowel. If the word before the blank is an "a", the word in the blank generally begins with a consonant.

  2. Watch for the number of blanks. The number of blanks often indicates the number of words in an answer.

  3. Watch for the length of the blank. A longer blank may indicate a longer answer.

  4. Answer the questions you are sure of first. As with all tests, answer the questions you know first and then go back to those that are difficult. Rephrase and look for key words.

 

The Essay Test

Being well-prepared is essential when taking an essay test. Organizing your notes and reading materials will help you form an outline of important topics. This will provide a framework to help you remember dates, main points, names, places, and supporting materials. The following guidelines will help you write effective essay test questions.

  1. Organize the material. From the first day of class, start preparing for essay questions. To remember material, it must be organized in a manner that will help you understand it. For example, arrange information chronologically or by definition.

  2. Predict questions. While you preview and read a chapter, listen to lectures, and review, be thinking of the questions that could be on the test. Organize these questions into an outline. Practice writing answers to these questions.

  3. Prepare a study sheet. Prepare a detailed outline of the essay questions you think will be on the test-definitions, dates, special terms, and key words. Jot key information on note cards and carry them with you for short reviews.

  4. Be prepared. Make certain you have necessary materials-pencils, erasable ink pen, paper, study sheets, and so on. Get a good night's rest, eat a healthy breakfast, and get to class early. Review difficult material.

  5. Listen carefully. As soon as you receive the test, jot down important information (dates, names, and key words) while they are fresh in your mind. Listen to all directions and read through the test quickly. Look for key words. Check to see which questions are worth more points, which questions are easiest for you to recall, and how much time you should give to each question.

  6. Think critically. Think before you start writing. Make certain that you understand what the question is asking. Respond to the key words such as explain, classify, and so on. Rephrase the questions into a main thesis. Always answer what is being asked directly. If asked to compare and contrast, you do not want to describe or you will not answer the question correctly.

  7. Write critically. Write a brief outline of the main points that you want to cover. Include a strong thesis sentence for each paragraph. Use a logical pattern of organization for each question.

  8. Write concisely and correctly. Get directly to the point. Use short clear sentences and don't use slang or incorrect grammar. Make sure your essay is readable and neat. Leave space between questions so that you can come back to a question, if time permits, for clarification and expansion. Erase carefully.

  9. Focus on main points. Emphasize the information that you know best. Don't use fillers, but make certain the question is answered completely. Make sure that you have thoroughly covered main points in a logical manner.

  10. Use all available time. Don't hurry. Pace yourself and always use all of the available time for review, revision, reflection, additions, and corrections. Proof carefully.

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