Multiple choice… Matching… Short Essays…OH MY! 

Test taking is nothing but a challenge. 

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Hey there, fellow procrastinators, overachievers and coffee addicted peers everywhere.

It’s that time of year again. 

Cool fall weather, cozy sweaters and the sweet smell of pumpkin spice welcoming all college students back to the books… dreadful class lectures… and of course, the long hours of cramming before the test day arrives. 

Whoa… that took a bit of a turn don’t you think? 

If you’re anything like me then staring at a test will make you cringe and think about all the ways failing this class will destroy your plan for a sustainable future. Oh, is that not your typical thought process when taking an exam? Oops. My bad.

Any who… Not to worry! Although I am not a pristine test taker, myself, I do have a few tips and tricks to get you through those dreadful midterms coming up. So, before I tell you to stop procrastinating, get a good night’s rest and to eat healthy (let’s face it we have other blogs that will tell you all that nonsense) I’d like to discuss preparation. Familiarizing yourself with how to approach the types of questions you may face on exam day will be a crucial part in reducing those anxiety driven thoughts.

Let’s start with the basics: Multiple choice.

The first thing to know when you’re stumped on multiple choice is confidence, confidence, confidence: Don’t second guess your first instinct.

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  • -Cover the answers while reading the question to evoke a personally worded response
  • -Now, compare your own words to the answers given and pick the best one
  • -Brain fart? Not to worry. Use the probability method by eliminating the answers you already know are wrong.

Up next we have matching questions. 

Keep in mind the answer is just sitting there staring you in the face like an open book. 

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 Remember the goal to mastering these ones is by strengthening your abilities to differentiate between items (most likely key terms/concepts from class). I know easier said than done, right?

  • Do yourself a favor and start on the column with the most information. 
  • Start with what you know.  Not only will you build your confidence but this will also help minimize your options 
  • If you know you will have matching on the exam try to practice matrices, compare/ contrast methods, and ensuring your understanding of the big picture. 

How good are you at true/false questions? The good news is you always have a 50/50 shot. 

Personally, I find these questions to be the tricksters. 

If you run into a wordy true/false question break it down. Cut it up into small sections and analyze each portion. This will give you clarity on which aspects of the statement are true and which aspects are trying to stop you in your tracks as you scratch your head with your pencil.

Not a Math Wiz? Fear not! I have got a simple solution for you. Breathe in. Breath out. And remember I never said I was any good at math either. 

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 Ready for this one? The true problem solver always takes it one step at a time.

Start, by writing down the initial equations that you remember from the homework/lectures.

This will help you decide which equation to use when confronting the issue. 

Then, proceed by plugging in the numbers and tackling the equation little by little! Make sure you look at the question and double check any conversions that may apply.

Phew, this is getting slightly daunting don’t you think? 

Now, now. Don’t panic! We only have one more test question left, however, it’s the one students tend to fear most. Short Essay. 

Here’s a thought… Get to the point. And do it fast. 

  • Plan it out. Jot down any relevant information you know about the topic before you start writing. This will ensure you don’t forget key concepts and it will help you build a structure.
  • Remember it doesn’t have to look pretty but it should have order. Try writing down a quick outline or word map before jumping into the essay itself.  
  • Come up with a thesis. This will make your argument known and keep your writing on track. Do your best to include specific examples to get your point across.
  • Now stop staring and write the darn response. 

Perfecto! You are finally ready to take on those pesky test questions.

 Keep in mind your attitude is everything! Therefore, go into that exam with a clear head and plenty of confidence

Take in the fresh air, put on a cozy sweater, grab a pumpkin spice anything and go kill it all the way to Thanksgiving Break.


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