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Perform Better on Tests

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Sleep, good nutrition, and following your instincts and brain can go a long way when it comes to doing well in school. We’ve heard time and again how eating properly affects our daily output, whether it’s for work or school, and sleep is a necessity that everyone needs in order to perform at or above their capacity.

Even though the answers to performing better on tests seems obvious, we still need reminders every now and then on how to stay on top of our game.

  1. Get your rest. An alert mind and rested body will take you far when it comes to take that exam you’ve been dreading.
  2. Eat well. Caffeine may keep your eyes open, but you need more than a cup of coffee or a soda to stay alert. Try a banana or bowl of cereal, if the test is in the morning, or a light sandwich or veggies as a snack if it’s later in the day.
  3. Trust Your Instincts. Don’t overthink the question. Most times your first response to a question is your best.
  4. Don’t stress. Whether it’s a final, midterm, or just a quiz, don’t psych yourself out. We all stress about the things that make a bigger impact on our grade, or job, but don’t let it get the best of you. It will get you distracted and take time away from your exam. Take a deep breath, or a mental break, and then come back to the questions.
  5. Read the directions. This tip is one that always gets overlooked. Don’t assume what every section is about, make sure to read through them, and if you have questions address them with the teacher.
  6. Put yourself in the professor’s head. Simply, try to remember what the instructor emphasized and why they felt it was important. This critical thinking may help when it comes to the multiple answer and essay questions.
  7. Empty out your brain. Right before you start the test write down any information that is difficult to remember like formulas, dates, keywords, etc. This can be your reference throughout the test.
  8. Look at the test for answers. Sometimes, the answer to one question can be found in another part of the test.
  9. Watch for keywords when answering True or False. Research has found that statements containing certain words like: all, only, always, because. These are generally false, since there are so many exceptions to the rule. And statements with the words: none, generally, usually, are generally true.
  10. Read and review. This one may seem the most obvious, but it’s also the most overlooked. Make sure you look over the format of the exam before you begin. This way if you find you have essays you need to write, you make sure to allocate time for them instead of rushing to get them done with little time left.

If these tips seem to be unchanging, from website to website, or person to person, it’s because they work. Even after studying for hours, you can still fall at the last minute because you didn’t take the time to read through the question, or jot down those notes that were on the tip of your tongue from the start. Remember to pace yourself, and be confident, the rest should follow.

– By J. Mason

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