Test Taking

  • Preparing yourself for an exam or test can be easier than you think.
  • Using good time management, SQ3R and the Cornell Method will prepare you to study effectively for your exam or test.
  • There are strategies and techniques that will help you tackle tests with less stress.
  • Using memory techniques is a good way to help you remember information.
  • Knowing the type of test and type of questions can help ease your anxiety.



If you know your exam is going to be strictly essay or include essay practice writing an outline and then write a practice essay. Then when it is time to take the exam the essay will be a breeze. –Quiana Robinson ‘13

For test taking I usually just review my notes and make flashcards. Sometimes I take a piece of paper fold it like a hot dog and write the question or statement on the left side and the answer on the right side. That method has really helped me for my constitutional law II class. The other key thing I have to do when I take a test is just relax and take my time because when I rush I make careless mistakes. –Jaelynn Bennett

Don’t just study the hardest material, study the easy material as well so you do not forget it. –Rakia Braggs ‘15

Research from Psychology in the field of memory shows that we remember information better if we recall it under the same conditions under which it was encoded. So, if you have an option, take your test in the same location (same classroom, same seat) where you learned the material. There also seems to be evidence reported in cognitive science that the scent of peppermint boost memory and motivation. So, why not combine these findings and suck a peppermint candy or use peppermint-scented lotion during the lecture (encoding); then use peppermint again during the test (recall). –Dr. Macalister Professor of Life-Span Developmental Psychologist

Form effective study groups, use all of one’s resources early, especially if one knows she has trouble with a particular area (for example, if one needs help with math for the purpose of a chemistry course, go to math tutoring; or, if one needs to improve her general writing skills for lab reports, use the writing center) –Dr. Allison Professor Biology

When you enter the classroom at test time, force yourself to smile even if you don’t feel like it because your smile will lessen the anxiety in your mind. Do not listen to anxious talk from fellow classmates in the room before a test nor join in on complaining. Form a bubble of confident silence around you and tell your friends you’ll talk to them after the test! –Dr. Low Chaplain and Professor of Religious Studies

Don’t study on your butt. Get up off of your feet every five to ten minutes and work on your feet. Research shows people do better in almost all realms of work if they’re less sedentary. People who lead often succeed. Offer to lead a group study session. You’ll do much better than anyone else in the group. –Dr. Dorries Professor in Communications

Participate in class, and ask questions, follow the schedule, readings, and assignments, use study guides to focus the readings and prepare for exams, don’t procrastinate, re-do and re-submit. –Dr. Lemons Professor of Education