Disability Support Services - a Division of Student Affairs at the University of Central Oklahoma
Test Taking Tips
REMEMBER: When you take an exam, you are demonstrating your ability to understand course material or perform certain tasks. Successful exam taking avoids carelessness.
- Examples of objective exams are true-false, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank.
- Examples of subjective exams are short answer, essay, or oral exams.
Note: If you have any doubts about the fairness of exams, or of the ability of exams to measure your performance, please see your instructor after class or during office hours.
General Exam Taking Strategies:
- To do well on exams you must first learn the material, and then review it before the exam. These are techniques to better understand your material:
- Take good notes in your class lectures and textbooks
- Review your notes soon after class/lecture
- Review notes briefly before the next class
- Schedule some time at the end of the week for a longer review
- Take good notes as your teacher tells you what will be on the exam
- Organize your notes, texts, and assignments according to what will be on the exam
- Estimate the hours you'll need to review materials
- Draw up a schedule that blocks units of time and material
- Test yourself on the material
- Finish your studying the day before the exam
Anticipating Exam Content:
- Pay particular attention to any study guides that the instructor hands out in class before the exam, or even at the beginning of the course! For example: Key points, particular chapters or parts of chapter, handouts, etc.
- Ask the instructor what to anticipate on the exam if he/she does not volunteer the information
- Pay particular attention - just prior to the exam - to points the instructor brings up during class lectures
- Generate a list of possible questions you would ask if you were making the exam, then see if you can answer the questions
- Review previous exams graded by the instructor
- Confer with other students to predict what will be on the exam
- Pay particular attention to clues that indicate an instructor might test for a particular idea, as when an instructor:
- Says something more than once
- Writes material on the board
- Pauses to review notes
- Asks questions of the class
- Says "this will be on the test!"
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