General Strategies for Test Taking
During the next few years you will be taking many standardized tests that evaluate your understanding of English. No matter what type of test you are taking, there are steps you can take beforehand to maximize your performance. As you work on the practice tests on this Web site, you will begin to develop strategies that help you perform well. You might also want to try using the following general strategies, which work well for many people.
Physical and Emotional Preparation
- Before the test get at least eight hours of sleep and eat a good breakfast and/or lunch.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Try to relax and maintain a positive attitude.
Taking the Test
- When you receive the test, glance over it, noting the types of questions and the number of points to be awarded for each.
- Read and listen to directions carefully.
- Budget your time, making sure that you do not spend too much time on any single question.
- Read each question and all answer choices before answering. Many items include choices that may seem right at first glance but are actually wrong.
- Complete the questions that you can answer easily. Then go back to the more difficult items.
- Do not make wild guesses on the SAT. Since points are deducted for incorrect answers on those tests, random guessing can harm your score. If you can eliminate one or two of the answer choices, however, your chance of choosing the correct answer is increased.
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