Helping you become all that you are capable of becoming!



T    Test

T    Test
Chapter 9
I AM A GOOD STUDENT Study Skills Program
By: Constance M. Messina, Ph.D.


Tests are given to motivate you to learn and to determine how much you have learned. The following ideas can be used to help you prepare and take tests.


1. Overall Test preparation:

  • Be attentive in class.
  • Do daily assignments.
  • Study hard every day.
  • Study new material and review old material every day.
  • Complete all homework assignments.

2. Establish a regular study time.

3. Learn to make and use an outline of the material that you must learn.

4. Make flash cards to help you to memorize information.

5. Make up possible test questions that you think the teacher might ask.

6. Form study groups to talk about the materials and formulate questions. Ask each other the questions you formulated.

7. Reread and/or rewrite your class notes.

8. Know what to expect. Ask the teacher what the test is designed to measure.

9. Learn the correct answers to questions missed on previous tests.

10. Skim textbook materials.

11. Get plenty of rest.

12. Don't eat a heavy meal before taking a test.

13. Consider the test a contest - you verses the test-maker.

14. Be confident that you can pass the test. Be convinced that you will pass the test.


1. Be on time.

2. Check all of your equipment. Bring all the materials that you will need.

3. Get comfortable.

4. Find out how the test is scored to determine if there is a penalty for guessing.

5. Read the entire test. Sometimes questions can be answered from other sections of the test. Read each question twice before answering it. Answer the easiest questions first.

6. Study the directions. Be sure that you know exactly what you are to do.

7. Budget your time. Allow time to reread your paper before handing it in.

8. Remain calm. Every ten minutes or so, sit back in your chair, breathe deeply and relax for a moment.

9. If you do not know an answer right away, skip the question and go back to it later. Mark the question unanswered.

10. Usually it is a good idea to stick to your first choice unless you know that you have made a mistake.

11. True-false questions containing such words as "always, none, all and never" are likely to be false statements. Words such as "usually, general, and sometimes" are more likely to be true statements.

12. For multiple choice questions, cross off the choices that are definitely not correct. Pick the one that is the most sensible after you have narrowed down your choices.

13. Be neat

14. Proof your test.


Essay questions require specific techniques.

  • Read the instructions for each question carefully.
  • Circle key words.
  • Plan your answer.
  • Make a quick outline.
  • Budget your time.
  • Proof your answers.
  • Know the meaning of each word used in the directions.


Common Words Used in Essay Test Question Directions

AMPLIFY - provide more facts and details

COMPARE - show likenesses and differences

CONTRAST - find differences between two or more things

DEFINE - give a good meaning

DESCRIBE - give an account of

DISCUSS - examine, analyze carefully, give pro and con, give examples


EXPLAIN - make clear the reasons and purposes

LIST - record a series

OUTLINE - summarize by a series of headings or subheadings

PROVE - establish that something is true by stating factual evidence or giving clear logical reasons

REVIEW - go over a subject again

STATE - present the main point in brief, clear sequence, usually omitting details, illustrations or examples

SUMMARIZE - give the main point or facts in condensed form

TRACE - follow the course of development


Nobody likes to make mistakes. But sometimes making mistakes can teach you something. When you get a test back, go over it carefully.

  • What kinds of mistakes did you make?
  • Was there something you forgot to study?
  • Did you forget to read the directions?
  • Did you rush through the test?
  • Did you misspell a lot of words?
  • Was your writing too sloppy?
  • If you're not sure why an answer is wrong, ask.
  • Find out what is the right answer.
  • Save your test papers - even the bad ones. They can help you the next time.

Remember: the mistakes you make and try not to make them again.


1. Intend to remember. This directs the brain to the activity at hand.

2. Be familiar with the material - the more facts you can relate to a subject the better you will remember.

3. Make sure that you understand the material.

4. Concentrate. Overlearn.

5. Make use of memory devices. Mnemonics hook what you want to memorize to something you already know.

6. Write material down as you make flash cars, lecture notes, create test questions or use the REVIEW technique.

7. Use self-recitation for it insures that the material is understood and acts to fix it in the memory.

8. Learn to visualize information to enhance the multisensory aspect of memorization.


1. Go over the steps involved in test taking. Lists the steps on the board and then post them for future reference. Provide the children with flashcards with the appropriate steps listed for quick review.


2. Provide a piece of written or oral material and have the children create test questions of every kind - multiple choice, true-false, fill in the blanks, matching and essay.


3. Various audiovisual aids are available on test taking techniques. Secure them and present them to your class.


4. Use commercial games to help children retain information. Games such as: Go To The Head Of The ClassTrivial Pursuit and Jeopardy should help with these techniques.


5. The following games will help children with the visualization aspect of memorization.


  1. Tell the class they are going to memorize a shopping list of 10 items. As you give them the items one at a time, have them associate each one with a picture helper. For instance if item 3 is spaghetti, a tree should have spaghetti draped over its branches. The more unusual the picture, the easier it is to remember.
  2. Divide the class into groups of five or six. Tell each group to make up a numbered list of items to be bought at a department store with each child in the group contributing an item and describing a picture helper to go along with it. As each child adds to the list, he or she must repeat the items that have already been named. When the list is complete, let the students take turns naming all five or six items.
  3. Give each group a paper bag with 10 objects in it. At a signal, the group opens the bag and dumps its contents out: the children then have seven minutes to study the objects, make a picture helper for each one and return the objects to the bag. Give each child a piece of a paper and have him or her write down as many objects as he or she can remember. Return the bags to the groups for self-checking. Then let the groups try again by exchanging bags and repeating the exercise with different objects.

Worksheet on So What Did You Learn About Testing?


Name:                                                                    Date:

Suppose the notes below are from your science class. After you have read these notes, go to the next section and follow the directions.


A. Circulatory System

     1. Vocabulary

         a. Ventricles - pumping "houses"

         b. Arteries - carry blood away from the heart

         c. Veins - carry blood to the heart

         d. White blood cells - fight infection and destroy bacteria

         e. Hemoglobin - red protein that joins with oxygen

         f. Red blood cells - carry oxygen through the body

     2. Facts

         a. When blood reaches the lungs, it picks up oxygen.

         b. Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells.

         c. A pulse can be felt only in the arteries.

     3. Parts of the heart

         a. left atrium 

         b. right atrium

         c. vein 

         d. valve

         e. left ventricle 

         f. right ventricle


Create Your Own Test Questions

1. Write two matching questions about the vocabulary.

  • 1.
  • 2.

2. Write three true-false questions about the blood.

  • True False 1.
  • True False 2.  
  • True False 3. 

3. Write four fill-in-the-blank questions about the circulatory system.

  • 1.
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4. 

4. Write two multiple choice questions about the parts of the heart.

  • Question #1:

        Answer to Question #1:

  • Question #2:

        Answer to Question #2: