5 Tips to Prepare for Tests

"Follow these five tips and you will start to see an improvement in your testing abilities."

Midterms are upon us and soon finals will now be here. Here are 5 things you can do besides eating a hearty breakfast and getting a good night’s sleep to master test days you have coming up!

1. Read each question carefully.  

After long days of studying you are probably anxious to get your test over with, but remember to slow down and read the question completely. Don’t anticipate what you think the question will ask, read through it carefully to fully recognize what is being asked. Tip: Watch out for questions using the words “except” or “not.”

2. Cross out answers you know are wrong. 

Going through multiple choice answers and eliminating the ones you know are incorrect puts the wrong answers out of your mind so you can focus more clearly on selecting the right one. This trick is especially helpful when you are stuck on a question so you can skip it at first but then quickly remember your thought process when you come back to it later.

3. Ask questions. 

Your teachers are more than happy to help you with questions as long as you don’t wait until the last minute. If you are getting homework questions wrong, then ask where exactly you made mistakes so you can correct yourself next time. You can also ask questions during a test if you need more clarification on a question. Don’t be afraid to speak up; the worst your teacher can say is “no.” Take advantage of this great resource and talk to your professor.

4. Don’t cram. 

Now, I know this one is hard. College students juggle a lot and the last thing we want to do is study, but it really does help. Start developing good study habits now and figure out what methods work best for you. Some students may like to study in long intervals with no breaks while others take breaks frequently. Or, you might find you study best with a group rather than by yourself. Whichever way you choose just make sure you are spreading your study schedule out several days or weeks rather than trying to fit it all in one night.

5. Always double check your answers. 

For most test-takers, there is an unspoken race to see who can finish their test the fastest or at least not be last. How fast you finish your test does not determine your grade, correct answers do. Take time at the end of your test to make sure you answered every question and didn’t accidentally bubble in the wrong answer

Follow these five tips and you will start to see an improvement in your testing abilities. Adjust each tip to what fits best for your learning style and try them throughout the semester so you are better prepared around test time.


Alyssa works at National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) as the digital marketing specialist. She is a member of the Theta Zeta chapter of Alpha Sigma Alpha. She attended IUPUI, where she earned degrees in public relations and English. Alyssa is a dog lover and podcast enthusiast.

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