We all write tests at one time or the other. The result of that test is simply a product of how well you prepared, your state of mind during that test and how well you answered the test questions. Below are a few tips to help you come out with that ‘A’.
1. In order to get those scores you desire, you need to have a good comprehension of the material, including memorizing specific facts and formulas. One of the most common ways to remember something is by repetition over time, that is, reading the material repeatedly. To achieve optimal results from this memory technique, schedule periodic reviews of the material. You can review the information on an hourly basis if you have the time. Review the information the next day. Review the information the next week. Review the information a month later.
2. Being aware of your environment or reading in one of your memorable spots really help. You could read that material as you walk through a garden or place, associating each important topic with some location. Then, when in front of the test questions, you could mentally walk through the garden to recall each point. This system is called the loci system. Record what you need to know and walk through a park or down city streets as you listen. When you see an important part that you think should be remembered, stop to look at what’s around you. This would work well, especially if you are someone that loves going out.
3. To do the best in your exams, your preparation must be long and healthy. Those include eating healthy foods, committing to take the time necessary to learn the material and getting regular high-quality sleep, but not too much sleep because this could reduce you mental capacity and make your brain lazy, not tired, during the test. You can include supplements in your diet. There are many things you can ingest that may help, but only a few are safe. Fish oil (or just eating fish) speeds up brainwaves and improves concentration as well.
4. Review past test questions. A sample test or previous version of the exam will help you know what kind of questions will be on it, so you can study the right things. Also, ask about the exam. The course lecturer will sometimes tell you where most people have trouble. Double-check answers in that part of the test and recognize questions that come with a twist.
5. Watch you anxiety. You can do this by getting to your test venue early or drinking a bit of coffee or something else that makes you calm. Getting to your venue early will reduce your anxiety and help you get used to the test environment, especially if it’s your first time of being there. Studies have shown that people score higher on written tests after taking a cup of coffee, but be careful. If you are a very nervous person, however, too much caffeine can increase anxiety.
6. Have a pre-test exercise for a few minutes. As little as ten minutes of exercise has been shown to speed up decision making time and accuracy in tests of mental ability. Take exercises that help your cardio system.
In addition to the comprehensions and preparation steps you can take, there are also things you can do during an exam to improve your score. Here are a few examples.
7. Before the test, imagine yourself confidently finishing the test early and without trouble. A bit of positive expectation works for most people, and can’t hurt.
8. Take deep breaths. As you start the test, take several deep breaths and let the tension drain from your muscles. This will reduce anxiety and help you concentrate.
9. Concentrate on one question at a time. This reduces feelings of anxiety because you are not anticipating and worrying about the next one. Don’t think about the other questions until you get to them.
10. Make notes as soon as you sit, just before the exam starts. Write down any information you might forget. If you “crammed” for the test just before taking it this can be really useful.
11. Read the test instructions just before you start and follow them. There are often penalties for disobeying rules.
12. When you first receive the test, review it and divide your time since most tests are timed. If there’s time, review the test once you’ve finished. In this way you’ll know if you are on schedule or if you need to speed up. It’s always better to take on questions you find simple first, leaving the tough ones for last. This can save you a lot of time.
13. Take your time. Never rush or speedily answer your test questions. Why? Because some tricky questions appear easy to those who hurriedly do test but actually require more thinking.
14. If your test is in theory, answer all questions if you can. If you are doing a multiple choice test, there’s always room for guessing because, you never know, you might just be right. Eliminate the options you know are wrong and then joggle the others.
15. Check for unanswered or wrongly answered questions. Do this once you feel you have nothing left to put down.
It’s always better to find what works for you. To help you achieve your test goals faster, shrink that bogus material into something you can carry about with you for quick reference and learn to speed read. With all this said and done, that A will definitely be yours.