• Test Taking Strategies

Test Taking Strategies

Smart test takers know strategies.test-taking-tips-400x266

Test Preparation

  • Know what the test is going to cover.
  • Complete all reading ahead of time.
  • Pay particular attention in class the day before the test.
  • If your textbook has review questions (or your teacher provides you review questions), know the answers to ALL of them.
  • Know the meaning and importance of all bold and italic words.
  • Use index cards for names, facts, formulas, dates, etc. that you need to remember . Take these cards with you and go over them as often as you can.
  • Study your class notes carefully. Test questions often come from material that has been presented in class.

Get Off to a Good Start

  • Get a good night’s sleep and eat a good breakfast.
  • Have everything you need for the test when you go to class (pencil, calculator, etc.)
  • As soon as you get your test, write anything you want to remember at the top (names, dates, formulas)
  • Read and follow the directions.

Don’t get Stuck on Difficult Questions

  • Place a mark by questions you aren’t sure of. After you have gone through all the questions, go back to the ones you’ve marked and try them again. If you are not sure of your answer, go with your first instinct.


  • It is important to understand the big picture and to know the main points and key facts.

Multiple Choice:

  • Need to know more detailed information—dates, persons, vocabulary, etc.
  • Read the question and predict a response before looking at the choices. If you don’t see your answer, read all the choices, considering each one as a true/false statement. Eliminate the false statements.
  • Be careful of negatively worded questions.
  • Look for cues:
    • The most general answer is often correct.
    • One of two similar answers maybe correct.
    • One of two opposite answers maybe correct.
    • “None” or “All of the above” answers are often correct.
    • The longest most, inclusive answer is often correct.


  • Watch for qualifying words that can make a statement false. Examples include: all/none, never/always, everything/nothing, best/worst. If you can think of a single exception, the statement is false.
  • Read two-part statements carefully; if one part is false, the entire statement false.
  • Be careful of double negatives.
  • Always make your best guess.
  • Absolute statements tend to be false
  • Questions that contain unfamiliar terms or facts may be false.
  • When all else fails, it is better to guess “true” than “false” because true statements are easier to write.

Fill In the Blank:

  • Need to know more detailed information—dates, persons, vocabulary, etc.

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