How to become “test wise”

Texas A&M’s College of Medicine has a great website filled with test-taking tips. “What is Test Wiseness? It is a subject’s capacity to utilize the characteristics and formats of test and/or test-taking situations to receive a high score (Hyde 1981, 3). These are skills that can allow you to perform well in any testing situation and to know what to do before, during and after the test. Research tells us test-wise people have improved attitudes toward testing, have less test anxiety and achieve better grades (Vattanapath and Jaiprayoon 1999). Sweetnam (2003) found that even students familiar with the content may do poorly because they lack test-taking skills.”

We encourage you to take a look!

Exam Prep Tips

“Many students think that preparing for a test means memorizing information the night before or rereading the information until their brain convinces them, “I got it!” when that’s just wishful thinking. Test preparation workshops provided by learning centers usually emphasize the following strategies”:
  • Use effective learning strategies from day one (in this case right now).
  • Determine exactly what the test will cover, and practice teaching that information to an audience — either real or imaginary — until you can do it flawlessly.
  • Determine what types of questions will be asked. Prepare for the test based on the type of questions that will be asked.
  • Organize information by preparing charts, outlines, or study guides.
  • Schedule specific time for test preparation on your weekly calendar (throughout the week).
  • Chunk material and master that material. (Test yourself over it; teach it back to yourself.)
Peer tutors and the Office of Teaching & Learning can help you strategize for final exams.

McGuire, S.Y. (2015). Teach Students How to Learn: Strategies You Can Incorporate into Any Course to Improve Student Metacognition, Study Skills, and Motivation. Stylus: Sterling, Va.

Quick Tip for Multiple Choice Questions

Look for Clue Words and Numbers
  • If two answers are opposite, one is probably correct.
  • Answers with the following words are usually incorrect: always, never, all, must
  • Answers with the following words are usually correct: seldom, generally, tend to,
  • probably, usually
  • Look for grammatical clues between the question and the choices. For example, the question and the correct answer often have verbs of the same tense and have nouns and verbs that agree.
  • Underline familiar words or phrases from the lecture or textbook.
  • Be aware of degrees of correctness. With numbers one choice is usually too small or too large. These choices may be eliminated.