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Doing well on a question that you feel relatively sure of will be reassuring and will free your mind of tension. Learn how to take exams by analyzing what you have done on a previous exam. Detect where you tend to lose points: Is there a pattern of why you missed points? That question on the test that haunted you for the next several days may prove to be the one you did the best on. When you get your exam back, go over it, thinking about what it shows about the professor's expectations and style of testing. Did you get the main idea but rush through the steps, proofs, or essay?
If for some reason you get yourself into this situation, take a minute every once in a while during the test to breathe deeply, stretch, and clear your brain.
You need to be especially aware of the likelihood of errors, so check your essays thoroughly before you hand them in to make sure they answer the right questions and don’t have big oversights or mistakes (like saying “Hitler” when you really mean “Churchill”).
When taking tests, get to the essentials fast: it is important to focus on how you will prepare before the exam, what strategies you can use during the exam, and what you can do after the exam to help you on the next one.
Consider the "Three Critical Stages" below for tips on how to get ready for your next test.
Just think—we expect athletes to practice constantly and use everything in their abilities and situations in order to achieve success.
Yet, somehow many students are convinced that one day’s worth of studying, no sleep, and some well-placed compliments (“Gee, Dr.This thought can inspire a fair amount of fear: we struggle enough with essays when they aren’t timed events based on unknown questions.The goal of this handout is to give you some easy and effective strategies that will help you take control of the situation and do your best.Instructors want to see whether: Exam questions can reach pretty far into the course materials, so you cannot hope to do well on them if you do not keep up with the readings and assignments from the beginning of the course.The most successful essay exam takers are prepared for anything reasonable, and they probably have some intelligent guesses about the content of the exam before they take it. Try some of the following suggestions during the semester: These suggestions will save you lots of time and misery later. You’ll notice the following suggestions are all based on organizing your study materials into manageable chunks of related material.Some suggestions in this handout were adapted from “Fastfacts – Short-Answer and Essay Exams” on the University of Guelph Library web site; “Resources – Exam Strategies” on the St.At some time in your undergraduate career, you’re going to have to write an essay exam.Interpretation words may include: Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind in writing essay exams is that you have a limited amount of time and space in which to get across the knowledge you have acquired and your ability to use it.Essay exams are not the place to be subtle or vague.Did you misinterpret questions or even test directions? For more information on exam preparation and writing strategies, see our “Exams” pages.