Test-taking Techniques

by Nic Voge

Tests are not transparent measures of what students know, and performing well on them is not simply a matter of knowing the relevant course content. Therefore, how one practices is crucial; becoming fluent, and flexible with conceptual content, as well as methods of problem-solving, all while working under timed circumstances, is a necessity. It is also critical to be strategic in one's approach to the test or exam itself. Allocating time, monitoring physical and psychological states (e.g. relaxing when you notice you are getting tense), interpreting questions accurately, and using the test itself to stimulate your recall are all important aspects of test-taking. This list provides some useful reminders and a few new techniques to use on your upcoming exams.