Peak Performance:
Success In College And Beyond

Chapter 8

Excel At Taking Tests

Chapter Objectives

•      Prepare for tests

•      Describe strategies for taking tests

•      Use test results

•      Take different types of tests

•      Use special tips for math and science tests

•      Prepare for performance appraisals

•      Overcome test anxiety

Success Principle 8


not testing.

Test-Taking Strategies

Before the Test

–         Start on day one

–         Know expectations

–         Ask questions in class

–         Keep up

–         Review early

–         Review weekly

Test-Taking Strategies

–         Do a final review

–         Use memory techniques

–         Create sample tests

–         Summarize

–         Use your study team

–         Use all available resources

–         Assemble what you will need


Test-Taking Strategies

During the test

–        Write down key information

–        Read and listen to all instructions

–        Determine which questions are worth the most

–        Answer objective questions

Test-Taking Strategies

–        Answer essay questions

–        Answer remaining questions

–        Review



Test-Taking Strategies

After the test

–         Reward yourself

–         Analyze and assess

•         Did my study strategy work?

•         Did I read the test before I started?

•         What were my strengths? What did I do right?

•         What questions did I miss?


Test-Taking Strategies

•         Did I miss clues in the test?

•         Did I ask the instructor for clarification?

•         How well did I know the content on which I was being tested?

•         What should I have studied more?

Test-Taking Strategies

•         Did I anticipate the style and format of the questions?

•         What didn’t I expect?

•         Did I have trouble with certain types of questions?

•         How was my recall?

•         Did I practice the right kind of thinking?

Test-Taking Strategies

•         Did I test myself with the right questions?

•         Did I handle test anxiety well?

•         Would it have helped if I had studied with others?

•         What changes will I make in studying for the next test?

Test-Taking Strategies

–        Review with your instructor

–        Review the test with your study team



Taking Different Types Of Tests

True/False Test

–        Listen and read carefully

–        Pay attention to details

–        Watch for qualifiers

–        Watch for faulty cause and effect

–        Always answer every question

–        Trust your instincts

Taking Different Types Of Tests

  Multiple-Choice Test

–        Read the question carefully

–        Rephrase the question

–        Cover the potential answers

–        Eliminate choices

–        Go from easy to difficult

Taking Different Types Of Tests

–        Watch for combinations

–        Look at sentence structure

–        Use critical thinking

Taking Different Types Of Tests

  Matching Test

–        Read carefully

–        Eliminate

–        Look at



Taking Different Types Of Tests

Fill-In-The-Blank Test

–        Watch for clues

–        Count the number of blanks

–        Watch for the length of the blank

–        Answer the questions you know first

–        Answer all questions

Taking Different Types Of Tests

Open-Book Test

•      Typically goes beyond basic recall

•      Requires preparation

•      Mark important areas in book

•      Requires critical thinking

•      Use your own words

Taking Different Types of Tests

The Essay Test

1. Budget your writing time

2. Read the question carefully

3. Create an outline

4. Focus on main points

5. Write concisely and correctly

6. Use key terms and phrases


Taking Different Types Of Tests

7. Answer completely

8. Write neatly

9. Use all the available time

Special Strategies for Math and Science Tests

1. Use note cards

2. Write key


3. Survey the test

4. Answer easy to


5. Answer general to specific

6. Write the problem in longhand


Special Strategies for Math and Science Tests

7. Make an estimate

8. Illustrate the problem

9. Ask yourself


10. Show your work

11. Do a similar


Last-Minute Study Tips

1. Focus on a few points

2. Intend to be positive

3. Review your note cards

4. Review your notes

5. Affirm your memory

Preparing For A Performance Appraisal

•      Review your job description

•      How do you view your job and the working climate?

•      List your goals and objectives and the results achieved

•      What documentation do you have that demonstrates your results and achievements?

•      What areas do you see as opportunities for improvement?

Preparing For A Performance Appraisal

•      What are your strengths and how can you maximize them?


•      What are your




•      What are your



Preparing For A Performance Appraisal

•      What new skills could assist in your advancement?

•      How can you increase your problem-solving skills?

•      How can you make more creative and sound decisions?

•      What additional training would be helpful for you?

Preparing For A Performance Appraisal

•      What can you do to prepare yourself for stressful projects and deadlines?

•      Give examples of how you have contributed to the company’s profits.

•      What relationships could you develop to help you achieve results?

•      Do you work well with other people?

Preparing For A Performance Appraisal

•      What project would be rewarding and challenging this year?

•      What resources do you need to complete this project?

•      Do you have open and effective communication with your supervisor and co-workers?

•      How does your assessment of your work compare with your supervisor’s assessment?

Overcome Obstacles

Test Anxiety

–        Dispute negative thoughts and conversations

–        Rehearse

–        Get regular exercise

–        Eat breakfast

–        Visualize success

Overcoming Obstacles

–        Stay calm

–        Get to class early

–        Focus

–        Keep a sense of perspective

–        Get help

Overcoming Obstacles


•      Violates your integrity

•      Erodes confidence

•      Creates academic problems

•      Increases stress

•      Brings high risks

Peak Performance:
Success In College And Beyond

Chapter 8

Excel At Taking Tests