Students » Student Test Taking Strategies

Student Test Taking Strategies

Preparing for Tests
  • Maintain good study habits: Do your class work.
  • Have a clear understanding of homework assignments before leaving class.
  • Keep a record of assignments received and completed.
  • Make a study schedule and follow it.
  • Tell your parents about schoolwork and homework.
  • Turn in homework on time.
  • Get make-up assignments when returning from an absence.
  • See teachers for additional help.
  • Seek and use past homework assignments, class notes, and available review materials.
  • Follow directions.
  • Find out when tests will be given out.
  • Get a good night's rest and eat a normal breakfast before testing.


During Tests

  • Read and pay careful attention to all directions.
  • Read each passage and accompanying questions.
  • Read every possible answer--the best one could be last.
  • Read and respond to items one at a time rather than thinking about the whole test.
  • Reread, when necessary, the parts of a passage needed for selecting the correct answer.
  • Don't expect to find a pattern in the positions of the correct answers.
  • Don't make uneducated guesses. Try to get the correct answer by reasoning and eliminating wrong answers.
  • Decide exactly what the question is asking; one response is clearly best.
  • Don't spend too much time on any one question.
  • Skip difficult questions until all other questions have been answered. On scrap paper, keep a record of the unanswered items to return to, if time permits.
  • Make sure to record the answer in the correct place on the answer sheet.
  • Only change an answer if you are sure the first one you picked was wrong. Be sure to completely erase changed answers.
  • Work as rapidly as possible with accuracy.
  • After completion of the test, use any remaining time to check your answers.
  • Keep a good attitude. Think positively!


After Tests


  • Examine your test scores; ask the teacher to explain your test scores if needed.
  • Congratulate yourself on identified areas of strength.
  • Identify areas of weakness which you will want to improve for a better performance next time.
  • Ask your teacher to suggest areas of study that will help you perform better on the next test.