The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TR government teacher outlines test-taking strategies

By Amelia Smith

Successful test taking can help students improve academically, a TR government instructor told about 20 TR students April 10.

“Repetition is the price of knowledge,” James Goss said.

Strategies can be learned to help with students’ test-taking abilities, he said. Test taking can be stressful if students lose their positive attitude, he said.

“Positive mentality is the kicker,” he said. “Keep a positive attitude before, during and after your exam.”

Students can focus on a few general guidelines when it comes to testing, Goss said. Before the test, they should arrive at least 15 minutes early to gather their thoughts, he said. Then they should listen to the instructor’s directions and read carefully while taking the exam.

“Rely on your first impression,” he said. “Do not second-guess your gut feeling when answering.”

Goss also said students should plan to review answers after completing the test.

Before a test, it is important to plan to review weekly, Goss said.

“Don’t ever study more than 30 minutes at a time,” he said. “It is all right to take a break.”

Using flash cards and mnemonic devices can help recall information, and forming study groups is another option. Since eating healthy is a key factor in testing as well, Goss said students should always eat before an exam. Staying up-to-date on assignments can make or break a student, he said.

“Don’t focus on material you already know,” he said. “Study the unfamiliar information more thoroughly.”

Cramming for an exam does not benefit anyone because the body will shut down after not having enough sleep, Goss said.

“Prioritize and strategize before and during your test,” he said.

Managing the time available is the key to being a successful test taker, Goss said.

Goss also offered a few guidelines to follow during the test. It is easiest to work on the more simple questions first or the ones that are more familiar, he said.

“Leave the hard questions for the end,” he said.

Students should pay attention to the wording of a question as that could be an important way to eliminate incorrect answers, Goss said. He provided a few examples of types of questions incorporated into an exam that students should know how to handle.

With “all of the above” questions, if students can find at least three options that could be correct, that is most likely the correct answer, he said. He also advised eliminating answers that look alike.

If some answers have “double negatives,” students should try to word the question in an equal but positive statement and then choose the answer. With “number answers,” Goss said students should always get rid of the highest and lowest answer choices and look at the mid-range answer choices.

It is also important to clear the mind during a test, so students can use a technique called the “mind dump,” putting all of one’s thoughts down on paper so the mind is clear of useless information, Goss said.

Student Maria Rodriguez said she gained information on study habits.

“After hearing the speech, I realized the time at which a person studies and for how long really affects the outcome of the test,” she said.

Lucero Calderon, another TR student, said he would remember a couple of tips.

“Time management and repetition are key points I took from the speech today,” he said.

Student Chyna Leonard also said she benefited from the presentation.

“I learned that cramming is really bad, and Professor Goss reiterated points I have learned in the past,” she said.

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