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Test-Taking Strategies

Test taking is a part of every college student's life. These times strike fear in the heart of every student. With tests come anxiety and stress.  The LAC at FSU tries to make these times less strenuous and easier to handle.  The LAC offers information on how to take some of the most common exam types, such as essays, objective, and multiple choice.  This information can significantly improve the way you, as a student, take college exams.  You may be suprised by the results!

General Rules For Tests

1.  Be On Time

Arrive early, instead of barely on time, so as to be organized and ready instead of in a panic.  Try to go into the test alert, but calm.  As you work, try to do your best without becoming tense and anxious. Concentrate on what you are required to do on the test istead of worrying about the unpleasant consequences of possible failure.

2.  Don't Panic

Regard lapses of memory as perfectly normal, and do not let them throw you into a panic.  If you block on answering one question, leave it for a while and come back to it later.

3.  Read The Directions

Make certain that you fully understand the directions for a test before attempting to solve any problems or answer any questions.  Don't goof up and lower your grade because you did not listen or read carefully.

4.  Plan Your Time

Plan how you will use your time during the exam.  Look quickly over the entire test and then divide your time accordingly.  Pace yourself carefully; otherwise you will find yourself with insufficient time to try to answer all the questions.

5.  Read Thoroughly

Read each test question carefully and completely before marking or writing your answer.  Reread again if you are at all confused.  If you still have no idea how to answer a given question, go on to the next one, returning later after you have finished the others.

6.  Clarify Questions

Ask your instructor for help in interpreting a test question that is unclear or ambiguous to you.  The instructor will probably want to clear up any misunderstanding for everybody if the question really is misleading or confusing.

7.  Do Your Own Work

Be careful not to give any impression of cheating.  Do your own work and do not give any help to others. Avoid all temptation.  Not only should your work be your own, but you simply cannont afford the risk of being caught.

8.  Don't Rush

Do not be disturbed about other students finishing before you do.  Take your time, don't panic, and you will do much better on the test.

9.  Recheck

Don't try to be the first one to leave.  You don't win a prize for being the first one done.  If you have any time left over, edit, check, and proofread your answers.  Use all the time available to eliminate careless errors and to make such improvements as you can.

Common Exam Types