Here’s a good test-taking tip that you can use on just about any timed test: when you are reading the question, take an extra three seconds to really understand what is being asked.
I frequently see students rush right into an answer without fully understanding the question. Not knowing what is being asked can have devastating consequences.
For multiple choice questions, if you don’t spend a little extra time to confirm the question, you can easily fall into a trap.
On essays, if don’t make sure you know the prompt, you might write off topic and receive a zero. Ouch!
So take just three seconds each time you have a question. Restate the question in your own words and make sure you understand what is being asked.
This strategy alone will keep you on task and you will avoid the common traps and pitfalls on both standardized and teacher-created tests. Three seconds is not much but it may be the most productive three seconds you spend on a test.