10 Helpful Tips for Testing


Stephanie Lazo

Barrett Butler taking a geometry test.

Stephanie Lazo

While testing comes easy to some students, many struggle to stay calm and do well on tests. Fortunately, there are methods to ease nervous feelings so students earn better scores.

1. Think Positive
Often, students tear themselves down by believing they will do poorly on an exam. The American Psychological Association (APA) suggests trying filling yourself with positive thoughts. Telling yourself “I will do great on this test” may be beneficial.

Telling yourself “I will do great on this test” may be beneficial.”

— American Psychological Association

2. Eating Healthy Meals
A healthy well-balanced meal is highly recommended for those going into a testing environment. Eating a healthy meal gives one the proper energy to take a test. That is why it is important to eat dinner the night before an exam and breakfast the morning right before. However, eating too much could cause discomfort and lead to being a distraction.

3. Go to Bed Early
Doctors suggest that teenagers get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Sleep is essential the night before an exam. While test taking, students need to be alert, and drowsiness will make testing much easier.

4. Study the Material
Studying may become stressful for some students. Luckily, there are tools that can make the task simpler. Regan Stachelski, a freshman at BDHS, says “study guides found online or given out by teachers and flash cards on Quizlet help me study.”

For studying, it is recommended not to cram all the studying the night before the exam. Starting to study a couple of days before an exam may be more helpful.

There are several apps made for the purpose of helping students study. Figuring out what study method is best for you may take some time but is worth it.

5. Dress for the Test
On the day of the test, dressing in layers is a great option. That way you will be prepared for any temperature the testing room may be.

6. Read Instructions Carefully
Reading the instructions and questions on a test thoroughly can prevent silly mistakes Sierra Tannheiser says, “Reading it slowly or more than once usually helps me.”

7. Pace Yourself
While taking a test, your pace is important to watch. Going too fast can lead to accidental mistakes and bad scores. But on the other hand, being stuck on one question for too long is not ideal.

8. Stuck on a Question
Getting caught up in a question is indeed quite stressful. If this occurs to you, there are a couple of ways to help solve the problem. The first one being, using the process of elimination.
Another way is by skipping the question and coming back to it later. There may be “hints” in other questions that are in the test that could help lead to an answer.

9. Don’t Pay Attention to What Others are Doing
Watching others’ every moves can lead to anxiety. Especially, if they are going at a faster or slower pace. It can cause someone to worry about something irrelevant to them.

10. Take Deep Breaths
The most important thing to remember while taking a test or during the minutes leading up to a test is taking deep breaths. Taking slow and steady breaths is a very useful tactic that can relieve anxiety.