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

Advisor provides test preparation tips

By John Garces/reporter

Managing anxiety, preparing mentally and physically and devising different test-taking strategies are keys to success on tests, an academic advisor told students on NW Campus last week.

Tracy Williams, academic advisor who presented Three Things You Need to Know Before Your Next Test, said her workshop would better prepare students for taking tests while the semester is still in the early stages.

“ The first thing to remember about managing test anxiety is that a little nervousness or anxiety is normal,” she said.

If a student is feeling an abnormal amount of anxiety or stress, Williams suggested seeking assistance from the counseling center.

The two types of anxiety in testing are rational and irrational.

Not being prepared for a test is an example of rational anxiety. Irrational anxiety can result in “blanking out” or overreacting, Williams said.

Williams described signs of stress as not being able to study, getting distracted easily and expecting to do poorly.

To avoid these symptoms, Williams recommends preparing, studying and thinking positive.

Williams said preparing both mentally and physically is key to improving test-taking skills.

She recommended setting several back-up alarms to ensure arriving on time. 

Sleeping well and eating something before a test are both important for success, the academic advisor said.

It also is important, she said, for students to find their own study style and pace.

Students should not worry about mistakes, have a list of test dates, keep up with notes and attend class, she said.

Williams highly recommends the use of study aids, such as flash cards and outlines.

The advisor also laid out strategies to conquer the three basic forms of tests: multiple choice, true/false and essay.

For multiple choice questions, Williams said the most important thing is to read every question carefully, as well as every answer.

“ Answer the easiest ones first, and only guess if there is no penalty for being wrong,” she said.

The key thing to remember for true/false questions is that for every true answer, every part of the statement must be true, Williams said.

Essay questions must have major points in the first paragraph, and answers must be organized, Williams said.

Having presented this seminar since last September, Williams hopes to give students a better understanding of what goes into preparing for exams.

“We do a survey afterwards, and students have told us it helps,” she said.

Williams encourages using the presentation tips to calm test-taking fears and, more importantly, help pass that big test.

“ People are just beginning to take tests at this point in the semester,” she said. “Overall improvement in the performance of our students on tests is the key.”

The presentation was created from concerns raised by faculty members over their students’ poor performance on tests, Williams said.

“Our department was approached by some of the faculty who asked what we could do about the problem,” she said.

For more information, contact the NW Campus learning center at 817-515-7715.

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