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How to Succeed in College: Survey of Test Taking Strategies

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Test taking is undeniably the core component that determines success or failure in a class. Though you may feel confident and enjoy the class’ content, the pressures of taking an exam may be enough to foil any buoyancy you may have in order to ace it.

Taken directly from Georgine Materniak’s, “Study Skills Survey,” University of Pittsburg Learning Skills Center, these questions may help raise awareness of your particular test taking strategies and habits.

As you read through this little survey and as part of test-taking preparation, think about how often you find yourself carrying out each issue Materniak recognizes in her survey, such as, how frequently or if ever:

Test Strategies “Study Skills Survey” by Georgine Materiniak

“In preparing for an exam, do you create an organized plan as to what you need to learn and when you will review?”

”Do you quickly look through your notes and books as you are waiting for the exam to begin?”

”Do you try to predict questions that may be on the exam and rehearse the answers to those questions?”

”Do you find that memorization is the most important factor in preparing for an objective test?”

”When a test question is ambiguous, do you ask the instructor for clarification?”

”Do you have difficulty discriminating between partially correct and correct choices on a multiple choice test?”

”Do you organize your ideas before you begin to write an essay answer?”

”Do you find that you recall answers to questions that you did not know just after you leave the exam room?”

”Do you remain unaffected by the fact that other students have completed the exam before you?”

”Do you make errors on exams because you have read questions inaccurately?”

Time to Evaluate

How did you do? Did this cause you to think about how well you prepare and organize for an exam? Do you seek clarification on questions that seem unclear?

Test taking requires certain skill, organization of thoughts, and physical and emotional preparation. Irrational responses and gimmicky guessing games are not test-taking behaviors that will win favor with your grades.

Next, tips to optimal test taking performance…


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