How to be a Smart Test Taker


Marlon M., Staff Writer

     Finals are coming up, and smart test-taking is a crucial variable in receiving a high score. For tips on how to study for a test, check out the article Tips for Studying, but this is how to take the test once it is in front of you. 

     First, read all of the questions carefully. You have no idea how many times I have gotten a math question wrong because I didn’t read carefully, or how many times I have misread the instructions to an essay and had to rewrite it. You can even read the question twice, just be careful. 

     Second, use your time wisely. Do easy questions quickly and take your time on difficult questions, but never rush. Save time at the end of the test to review your answers, and do the answers that you skipped over. Skipping over questions that you do not know the answer to is also a good test-taking strategy, as other questions may give hints to help you answer the first question.

     When taking a test, especially on multiple-choice tests, you may find yourself on the fence between two answers (given that you’ve crossed out the NO answers). For these questions, rate how well you think each choice answers the question. One may be a 5, one maybe a 7. Choose 7.

     Last but not least, be a genius at guessing. When taking a test, look at it through the test writer’s eye. Most of the time, you do not want to choose the definitive answer, such as, “In all cases…” Also, if you see two answers that are complete opposites, one of them is most likely the answer. Most importantly, however, when doing multiple-choice tests, usually all the wrong answers are similar to the right answers, so single the choices out from there. If there is ⅓, √3, 3, 3√3, or 9, single out ⅓ because it is the only fraction, next, get rid of the whole numbers, since they are the minority. Lastly, you will have √3 and 3√3, and then you can guess from there. 

     Of course, if none of these work, guess the letter that you haven’t had in a while, and if you have Zero time, then guess C, because C is always the answer. You’re welcome. However, keep in mind that studying and knowing your stuff is always better than guessing.

     Whatever happens, happens. Don’t stress about your scores, and you shouldn’t if you studied well. However, try these tips during your tests, you’ll probably do better than without them. Good luck!