How Do Tests Work?
In this 3 part series we’re taking a look at tests. Love them or hate them – we all end up having to take them. In part 1 we’ll delve into how to effectively prepare for tests; in part 2 we’ll discuss what and how tests are written and how they’re graded; and finally in part 3 we’ll get practical with some test taking tips.
To prepare for a test, it seems that learning all your notes and lessons materials should get you a great result. So this article just needs to tell you how to better organize your materials and retain more information, then on test day you can spit it all back out and get an outstanding grade. But we’ve all tried this and the reality is often quite different. How many times have you felt that you know the materials inside and out, but when you get to the test you either don’t know how to answer the questions or get a low grade. Sound familiar?
We’re going to suggest something that sounds so obvious that you’ll probably stop reading – but don’t! Please keep reading….
If you are going to be successful on a test, you need to learn how to answer the questions
Obvious right? I have to learn the subject matter in order to answer the questions. But that’s what I do, I learn the subject matter and still can’t answer the questions. No, let’s read it again, you need to learn how to answer the questions. Experienced test takers will tell you there are two parts to preparing for a test – first, there’s the subject matter – and second, there’s the questions themselves. You need to learn to deal with both. Most people forget about learning how to answer the questions.
With our new insight, to prepare for taking a test, here’s your strategy:
IF you have reviewed and learned your class and study material, AND you know what types of questions to expect, AND you have a method to answer each type, AND you can prioritize which questions you will answer – THEN you are ready to take your test! However, next week we’ll take a look at how tests are written and graded, which may change how you go about answering questions in your next test.