Your Right C3 coaches know that taking tests in school can be stressful. Here are a few strategies you can use to help you before you sit down to take an exam.
1. Develop a positive attitude: Practically everyone feels nervous about taking tests. Turn that nervousness into a plus. Most professional actors get the jitters before going onstage, no matter how seasoned they are—and it seems to energize them! Remind yourself that you have prepared as best you can, you’re as ready as you’ll ever be, and then do the very best you can do! Who do you think will do better on a test-day: the student who is absolutely sure he’s going to bomb the test, or the student who is confident that he will do well? Your attitude definitely counts.
2. Get a good night’s rest before the test: If you’ve been studying regularly and efficiently, you can be having sweet dreams while some of your peers are cramming. (And by the way—cramming is one of the least efficient ways to prepare for a test!)
3. Eat something before the test: You don’t want to come to class hungry and with your stomach growling, but you don’t want to eat a huge plate of lasagna, either. The idea is to fortify yourself—not make you need a nap. Neither starvation nor gluttony will help you concentrate better. Shoot for something with protein and low in sugar. Avoid foods that give you digestive problems, and eat light— especially if you are nervous.
4. Make sure you have everything you need: paper, pencils, pens, calculators, etc. To ensure you don’t forget them, store them in your backpack the night before the test.
5. Ask your teacher how the test will be graded: Will spelling and punctuation count (it may not count on a biology test, but it will surely count on a Language Arts test)? Ask if you will have to show your work on math tests. Ask how many points are given to each kind of question (essay, true-false, multiple choice, etc.). Are some questions worth more points than others? Will the teacher give partial credit for any answers? Ask these types of questions prior to the day of the test.
6. Read the Directions! It seems almost too obvious to mention, but you might be surprised how many people fail to do so. If there are any words or instructions in the directions (oral or written) that you don’t understand, ask the teacher to clarify them. The rest of the class will thank you—they probably had the same questions, but were afraid to raise their hands.
7. Follow the Directions! It doesn’t do much good to read the directions if you don’t follow them!
Best of luck to all our students on their upcoming exams!