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Test Taking 101

Test day. All of your hard work and preparation (or all of your procrastination and lack of studying) have gotten you to this point. As the teacher hands out the test, it is easy to feel extremely nervous. You want to do well on this exam and earn great marks.

You will most likely feel stressed and nervous on test day.
These are normal and even helpful emotions, as adrenaline is known to sharpen focus and determination. Here are a few ways to minimize these emotions and even harness them for your benefit.

Be prepared.
Make sure you feel like you studied all you could. Only you can know whether you feel you did all you could to be ready. If you feel thoroughly ready, then you will be more confident in your answers. Work hard before the test and your hard work will take care of you.

Go to bed early the night before your exam.
Make sure you feel well rested and mentally ready for the test. Do not cram the night before. If you have studied hard, this will be unnecessary and distracting. Instead, do something you enjoy the night before, such as a watch a favorite movie or read a good book, and get to sleep early.

Carefully listen to any and all test instructions.
With all of the material running laps in your brain, it is very easy to tune out your teacher on test day and just repeat formulas, facts, etc. in your head so you will not forget them. This could cause you to miss important instructions. Often, it is just as important if not more important to follow instructions and keep an ear out for what your teacher expects and wants than it is to have memorized every single minute detail.

When you first get your test, quickly scan through it.
Take a look at each section and get a feel for what your strengths and weaknesses will be, and then allocate your time on the test accordingly. If you feel one section is extremely hard, be sure to allow yourself ample time to look over it and possibly ask the teacher questions later. Spend the most time on the questions worth the most points.

Do not be afraid to skip a question.
If you are totally stumped on a question, then move on and come back later. Especially if this question is not worth as many points, it is much more important to finish your entire test than it is to waste time on a question you cant remember the answer to. Also, you may recall the right answer when you come back later.

Stay relaxed.
Take care to monitor how you are feeling. Remember to breathe, take time to collect yourself, and to think positively. You can wiggle toes, stretch your neck, and do other small things to stay loose and feel confident. It is important to never panic. If you panic, you will be sure to forget everything you have worked hard to remember.

If you finish your test early, spend the remaining time on double checking your answers and making sure you answered every question fully and to the best of your ability. If you feel confident about an answer don't second guess yourself into changing it. However, if you were unsure before about a question, now you have a little more time to focus on it.

These tips will help you do great on test day. This advice is good; however it is up to you to put in the work and effort to be prepared. Good luck!

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