How to Improve Your Test Taking Abilities

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Are you intelligent but seem to have trouble scoring well on exams? If so, this can be a frustrating state of affairs for you. After all, virtually everyone measures your capabilities on your grades. So, if you are having a tough time meeting expectations, it is natural to feel depressed.

Well, the good news for you is that you don’t have to continue experiencing poor marks, however! By improving your test taking abilities, you can actually your overall performance. Thus, with some guidance and a few useful tips, you will be able to turn around things for yourself.


On this note, here is what you need to do:

Prepare Until the Very End

One of the issues with exams is that you often have to store away a lot of information and then recall this on the spot. As you are well aware, it isn’t easy to retain numerous details particularly over a long period of time. This is why it is important for you to study the material until right before the exam.

Understand, when you first learn something, your recall of the material isn’t great. This is because very little of the information has made its way into your long-term memory. To fix this issue, you need to keep going over that content every so often, at regular intervals.

This way, you don’t allow your brain to forget important details. Since you keep revising the material, you are able to form more complete memories and thus, are more likely to remember what you are learning. Thus, you need to make it a point to continuously study the content until the very last moment.

Address Your Weaknesses Early On

It is important to keep in mind that you can never know what topics will be covered in your exam. Thus, you need to master all of your academic content equally. As you are well aware, this isn’t something that most students are good with.

This is because everyone finds certain topics easy and others quite difficult. Unfortunately, most people prefer to focus on their strengths rather than address their weaknesses. However, if your exam is largely focused on your weak areas, you will not be able to score all that well.

So, make it a point to figure out your weak areas rather early on in the process. Then, make sure to find ways to learn this content. For instance, if you are having trouble understanding the ideas, hire a tutor or speak to a friend who knows the subject well.

If your issue lies with applying your knowledge, do multiple quizzes and practice papers so that you learn how to order your work better. All of these techniques will help turn your weaknesses into strengths.

Familiarise Yourself with the Structure

It is important for you to be able to complete your exams with a certain, effortless flow. This way, you cut down on the amount of time that you waste trying to figure out how to answer certain questions. What’s more, you are also able to construct more relevant answers as well.

Now, to be able to do all of this, you must be well-versed in the format of the exam. It is only then that you can answer questions without missing a beat. Fortunately for you, this is easier than ever before. This is because there are a number of sites that now provide you with past papers from previous years.

Or, you will be able to find sample tests that have an identical structure to the real thing. This gives you the opportunity to complete the exam over and over again until you become familiar with. Thus, when you sit down for the main event, you will be able to handle the layout without any issue at all.

Create a Routine for Yourself

Once you become familiar with the structure, it is time to create an exam-taking routine for yourself. For instance, if you are someone who has trouble holding onto certain facts or equations, consider a memory dump.

This is where you write down on all of those tricky details down immediately before they have a chance to slip your mind. You can then continue with your exam knowing that information is available at a moment’s notice, should you need it.

In case you have a tendency to get stuck on certain questions, then get into the habit of scanning the paper. Then, answer the questions that seem easiest for you. After this, you can continue onto the slightly more advanced questions, and so forth. Such a tactic will reduce the risk of you wasting time.

You should figure out the areas that are most likely to affect you during an exam and to then figure out a routine that can help you.

Recreate Exam Conditions

Let’s face it, you probably study in conditions that are quite different from your exam hall. For one thing, they may be a lot more comfortable and you probably have more time to do your work as well. However, once you have revised well, it is time to start including exam conditions into your study sessions too.

This is something that you should certainly do when sitting for practice tests. Such a tactic will come in particularly useful for students that are often overcome with anxiety during these moments. When you continuously put yourself in the stress inducing event, you will actually find that it is a lot easier to deal with, over time.

Get into the Habit of Reading Instructions Carefully

This may sound like the oldest advice ever, but it does bear repeating. An astounding number of mistakes can be avoided if you simply read all of the instructions mentioned in a paper. Therefore, this is a trait that you need to start strengthening as early as possible.

Make it a point to highlight key words or terms so that you know exactly what you are supposed to do for each section. By doing this, you will ensure that you are creating the right foundation for yourself and will be less likely to make silly mistakes.

These are the top things to do if you want to improve your test taking abilities. Try out all of these tactics and you will be able to easily master your exams in the future.

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