Test Taking Tips – Know Yourself

If you have trouble with performing well on tests, even when you have studied for hours, perhaps it is your strategy, not your brain that is to blame. One common mistake that students make when taking a test is the belief that more studying is better. They figure that the more they study, the more information they absorb, the better their chances of doing well on the test.

Alissa Breindel Austin

This is a flawed logic because often they sacrifice other things in order to cram in more study time, like forgetting to eat well or getting a proper amount of sleep. Other test-takers have no self-confidence, which leads them to make mistakes because they are too focused on their own perceived inadequacy. That is why the best way to take a test is to adopt strategies that best fit you as a test-taker.

When you do poorly on a test, it is because you didn’t prepare in a way that is conducive to yourself. What this means is that you employed a strategy that may work for others, which is why you tried it, but those strategies may not be right for you. If you really want to perform well on a test, you need to know yourself and find out which strategy caters best to your needs. If you don’t like to study last minute for a long period of time, just do quick and concentrated reviews instead of reading over all the material at once.

Alissa Breindel of Austin is a teacher from Strategic SAT Prep who specializes in improving student performance on the SAT and ACT.


Test Taking Strategies – Come Early

Doing well on a test is often the difference between passing and failing a class. That is why test-taking is a valuable skill that you need to acquire if you want to be a more successful student. Knocking a test out of the park isn’t simply a matter of knowing the content, but having good preparative strategies as well.

Alissa Breindel AustinHow well you perform on a test is as much decided by the strategies you use as it is your knowledge of the material. That is because things like poor sleep schedules, bad food, and stress can greatly affect how you perform. That is why one great strategy for doing well on a test is to arrive at least thirty minutes early for the test when possible.

Arriving early for a test has many advantages. The first is that you will be able to do a quick review and reinforce the studying that you did the night before. Often this quick review of every topic and discussion point will help you recall the information easier when you take the actual test. Think of this period as a quick crash course review.

Another advantage to arriving early for a test is that it reduces your nerves. If you arrive early, it gives you more time to mentally prepare for the test, get acclimated to your environment, and push aside all distractions. You can even spend this time discussing the test with your teacher, which may help to put some of your nerves at ease.

Alissa Breindel Austin is a teacher from Strategic SAT Prep who specializes in improving student performance on the SAT and ACT.

Pre-test Taking Tips – Good Maintenance

Many students have trouble performing well on tests, even when they know the material and have studied for many hours. Even though a student may have an excellent grade in a class, do well on the homework, s/he may simply be unable to perform well on the test day. This is often the result of improper study and a lack of strategies. Fortunately, with a few precautionary measures, students can perform better on tests and be more confident on the test day.

Alissa Breindel AustinOne important thing to focus on before a test is to get a good night’s sleep. While some students think that they need to cram for an exam, this kind of effort often backfires because they are overloading their brain and not getting enough sleep. If a student does not get enough rest, the brain will be sluggish and more prone to mistakes. That is why studying late is not recommended. The benefits from rest can greatly exceed the potential benefits from studying an extra hour or two.

It is also important to eat well in order to perform better on a test. Some studies have shown that eating a good breakfast with a high source of protein has brain-boosting benefits. These benefits can carry over to test time and allow the student to perform much better than they may have otherwise. Eating only sugar and carbs before a test can cause a student to feel sluggish and would impact a student’s processing time.

Alissa Breindel Austin is a teacher from Strategic SAT Prep who specializes in improving students’ scores on the SAT and ACT.