Top 10 Test Taking Strategies

4 min readdecember 9, 2021

Jessica Q.

Jessica Q.


44 resources
See Units

Teach Yourself to Be a Better Test Taker!

Hello! 👋 Welcome to this guide on test-taking strategies and how to maximize your scores effectively. 💯 These strategies may not be one-size-fits-all, but apply what works for you and modify these tips for your own needs. Let’s jump right into it! 🐰

(Image courtesy of Pixabay)

#1: Spread Out Your Studying & Don’t Cram!

You’ve probably heard this over and over again, but cramming doesn’t work! 🧏 You’ll burn yourself out before the test even starts trying to cram too much information into your brain. 🧠
If you know you have a test coming up, plan out your study time. 📅 Study a portion of the content each day leading up to the test instead of trying to learn an entire unit’s worth of content in one sitting. By splitting up the material 📝 and digesting it in manageable chunks, you’ll have a better understanding of it and be more prepared 💪 to apply it on test day!
💡 Check out this article on how to effectively manage your time!
If, however, you did leave studying to the last minute, do NOT pull an all-nighter to cram ❌ or completely burn yourself out! Do some light review, but it’s better to get a good night’s rest (around 8 hours) 💤 than to stay up all night studying.
💡 Check out Hours for your study sessions!

#2: Get a Good Night’s Rest & Arrive Early

Prepare everything you need the night before so that you’re not rushing on the morning of the test. Materials could include pencils ✏️, erasers, a calculator, or anything else you’ll need on the test. 🔍
Also, sleep early! 🛏️ Your brain can’t function at its best with only a few hours of sleep. 
💡 Check out some meditation tips if you’re finding it hard to relax.
On test day, eat a good breakfast 🥣 and plan to arrive a bit early. This way, you can ask last-minute questions or clarify anything you find confusing. 🤔 It will also give you some time to prepare your materials and take a few deep breaths before the test starts.

#3: Read Directions Carefully

Do NOT just start the test before reading 👓 the directions! You don’t want to come up with an answer to realize you weren’t even answering the right question. 🤷‍♀️ Be sure to underline and circle essential terms in the directions that you’ll need to remember.

#4: Manage Your Time & Pace Yourself

Manage your time effectively, leaving enough time to answer all the questions you’re able to do. Watch the clock ⏰ and pace yourself. 

#5: Don’t Spend Too Long on One Question

Don’t spend the entire test staring 👀 at one question you don’t know! You’ll be missing out on the chance to answer and earn points 📩 from other questions that you do know how to do.

#6: Use Process of Elimination

If you’re taking a multiple-choice test, process of elimination is an excellent test-taking 📑 strategy. If you’re unsure about a question, it’s much easier to guess between two or three choices than five. Cross out answers ✂️ that you’re absolutely sure are wrong, and you’ll have a much better chance at making a correct educated guess!

#7: Trust Your Gut!

Many times, our first instinct gives us the correct answer. So when an answer immediately pops into your head, trust your gut! 🤓 Avoid changing answers unless you’re sure you’re wrong because you may be changing a correct answer to an incorrect one. 😓

#8: Keep Going

No matter how anxious you are, keep going. 🏃‍♀️ Again, manage your time effectively and do not spend the entire allotted time trying to solve one question. Even if the questions are challenging, stay positive! 😊 You’ve worked hard to learn and study the content, and this is your time to test your knowledge.

#9: Review Your Answers Before You Submit

Leave a few minutes before the end of the test to quickly go over your answers. 👓 You may have made small mistakes the first time around, and checking gives you a second chance to catch them. 🚀

(Image courtesy of Pixabay)

#10: Reflect

After you’ve turned your test in, BREATHE. 🙌 Pat yourself on the back. You’ve finished! Take some time to reflect, both after the end of the test and when you receive your score back. What made this testing experience better, or worse, than last time? 🤔 Did you study effectively, or did you save all your cramming until the last minute? Did you go too fast on the test and make a bunch of silly mistakes? Reflecting on your test will give you an idea of how to do better on the next one. 😈

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

Congratulations! 👏 You’ve made it to the end of this article. Hopefully, these study tips have given you some ideas for making the best of your testing experiences! 🤗
Most importantly, though, your score does not define you as a person. 💗 However, you’ve been working hard and learning a lot, and tests can give you a chance to show what you know! 💁‍♀️ Use these tips to your advantage.
Good luck with your studying, and check out Fiveable for more resources! ✌️
🤝Connect with other students studying Productivity with Hours!

Stay Connected

© 2023 Fiveable Inc. All rights reserved.

© 2023 Fiveable Inc. All rights reserved.