B Positive!… Strategies to Get Your Test-Taking Blood Pumping

By Ronald Hanaki

SC Staff Writer

On Thursday, March 27, Director of Extended Learning Jennifer Serowick led a free B.A.L.A.N.C.E. workshop on test-taking strategies.

Entitled “B Positive!… Strategies to Get Your Test-Taking Blood Pumping,” the workshop was held inside Beers Lecture Hall.

Ms. Serowick began her presentation by asking the audience, “What are your test-taking strategies?”

After some students shared their own test-taking tips, Ms. Serowick told the audience that to be successful, begin preparing for tests in your courses on the first day of class.

Ms. Serowick suggested making a study plan with the time you have available.

Other helpful tips included forming study groups, making study guides for quick review and asking the instructor what sorts of questions could appear on the tests.

Further, Ms. Serowick said that pulling all-nighters before the day of a test was not a good idea.

She said that studies showed that a minimum of three hours of sleep before taking a test was necessary for students to do well. She suggested setting an alarm so the student does not over-sleep or set up a morning wake-up call.

Ms. Serowick’s also advised to eat something and use the bathroom before the test. The student should bring pencils, pens, and calculators if he or she is permitted.

Bring a watch just in case the clock inside the classroom is not working so that the student can pace herself or himself. Finally, she told the students to avoid cramming.

During the test, Ms. Serowick said to keep a positive attitude and listen to the professor’s last-minute instructions. She suggested that before answering any questions on the exam, read over all the questions on the test first.

When taking the test, skip any problem that can’t be done easily and focus on the high point-value questions. Read each question carefully and write answers legibly. Don’t be too shy to ask the professor any questions that the student might not know. Finally, don’t get distracted by other students who might finish the exam faster than you. Be comfortable enough to take the test at your own pace.

In the event that you finish early, look over all your answers. Unless you are 100% sure you have something wrong, don’t change your answers because studies show that oftentimes your first answer will be the correct answer. Also, make sure you put your name on the test and follow all the instructions as written on the test.

When you get the test back, review the test to make sure you understand your mistakes. If you don’t understand what you did wrong, meet with the professor and ask questions. Use the test as a study guide for later exams in the course.

As for general test anxiety, Ms. Serowick said to remember to breathe. It may also be beneficial to give yourself a reward after taking a test or for doing well on a test.

Ms. Serowick reminded students not to forget to avail themselves of the resources that are out there for ESU students. ESU has tutoring and counseling centers. Moreover, the professor her or himself is a resource for the student. It might not hurt to ask your fellow students questions. Lastly, Ms. Serowick revealed that many of these and other test-taking tips can be found on the TestTakingTips.com website.

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