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Test-Taking Approaches and Tips

  • Read carefully. Consider all the choices in each question. Avoid careless mistakes that will cause you to lose points.
  • Answer the easy questions first. Work on less time-consuming questions before moving on to the more difficult ones. Questions on each test are generally ordered from easiest to hardest.
  • Eliminate answer choices that you know are wrong. Cross them out in your test booklet so that you can clearly see which choices are left.
  • Make an educated guess or skip the question. If you have eliminated the choices that you know are wrong, guessing is your best strategy. However, if you cannot eliminate any of the answer choices, it is best to skip the question. You will lose points for incorrect answers.
  • Keep your answer sheet neat. The answer sheet is scored by a machine, which can’t tell the difference between an answer and a doodle. If the machine reads marks that could be two answers for one question, it will consider the question unanswered.
  • Use your test booklet as scrap paper. Use it to make notes or write down ideas. What you write in the booklet will not affect your score.
  • Circle the questions you skip in your booklet. This will help you keep track of which questions you didn’t answer.
  • Check your answer sheet regularly. Make sure you are in the right place. Check the number of the question and the number on the answer sheet every few questions. This is especially important when you skip a question.
  • Work at an even, steady pace, and keep moving. Each question on the test takes a certain amount of time to read and answer. Through practice, you can develop a sense of timing to help you complete the test. Your goal is to spend time on the questions that you are most likely to answer correctly.
  • Keep track of time. You are given one hour to complete each test. Occasionally check your progress so that you know where you are and how much time is left.
  • Remember to always use a No. 2 pencil. All answer sheet circles must be filled in darkly and completely with a No. 2 pencil. If you need to erase an answer, erase it as completely as possible.
  • Do not try to erase all of your answers. If you erase all of the answers to one of the tests you take on a given date, all of your tests you take that day will be canceled. Remember that you can choose which scores to send to colleges.