Monday, May 14, 2012

Examination Tips

tests(Today’s post is for the letter X in the A-Z challenge.)

An examination is a nice long word for tests. I hate tests. I hate giving tests and I hate taking tests. I really have test anxiety and even though I know that I know the material, when I take a test, I freeze. I know that I have students who feel the same way.

Whenever possible I try to assign projects to evaluate that students know the material. For some reason, the word project is easier to handle than the word test. Plus I think projects are just more fun and I’ll all for fun!

But tests or examinations are a way of life. Many teachers love to give tests. When you want to drive a car, you have to pass a test. Employers sometimes give tests to see if their employees have the knowledge that is needed for a certain skill.

So, I try to help my students cope with taking tests. Besides studying well (learning to study is a different topic!) But there are different tips that could be helpful when taking a test.

Before going into a test, it is very important to get a good night’s sleep and have a good breakfast. Then I give myself a pep talk. I try to remind myself that the test doesn’t determine what kind of person I am. That after the test, the sun will still come up tomorrow. If I fail, it is not the end of the world. I then make sure that I have all the materials I need to take the test such as a calculator if allowed and extra pencils so I’m not wasting time getting up to sharpen a pencil. Before the test, I will glance over the materials one last time. Either I know it or I don’t.

When I am taking the test, I will answer all of the questions I can immediately answer. The ones I have trouble with I will skip and then come back to later. When I come back to them, I think about other questions that I answered that might help me answer these. If I am still having problems, I might underline key words that might help jog my memory. If there are multiple choice questions, I rule out the answers that I know are wrong and then look at what is left and try to reason out the best answer.

When I am done with the test, I go back through each question and make sure that I didn’t leave anything blank. I find that many of my students are careless and turn in a test where they forgot to answer a question. Sometimes I make them put their initials by each question after they verify it isn’t blank. This makes them actually look at the question to make sure it gets answered.

Hopefully these tips help my students be more successful when taking tests. Do you have any suggestions to add? Please share.

Image: 'Getting the Most Out of Multiple-choice Questions'

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