Taking a MathTest

Test-Taking Strategy MattersJust as it is important to think about how you spend your study time (in addition to actually doing the studying), it is important to think about what strategies you will use when you take a test (in addition to actually doing the problems on the test). Good test-taking strategy can make a

big differenceto your grade!## Taking a Test

First

look overthe entire test. You'll get a sense of its length. Try to identify those problems you definitely know how to do right away, and those you expect to have to think about.Do the problems in the order that suits

you!Start with the problems what you know for sure you can do. This builds confidence and means you don't miss any sure points because you run out of time. Then try the problems you think you can figure out; then finally try the ones you are least sure about.

Timeis of the essence - work asquicklyandcontinuouslyas you can while still writing legibly and showing all your work. If you get stuck on a problem, move on to another one - you can come back later.

Work by the clock.On a 50 minute, 100 point test, you have about 5 minutes for a 10 point question. Starting with the easy questions will probably put you ahead of the clock. When you work on a harder problem, spend the allotted time (e.g., 5 minutes) on that question, and if you have not almost finished it, go on to another problem. Donotspend 20 minutes on a problem which will yield few or no points when there are other problems still to try.

Show all your work:make it as easy as possible for the Instructor to see how much youdoknow. Try to write a well-reasoned solution. If your answer is incorrect, the Instructor will assign partial credit based on the work you show.

Neverwaste time erasing! Just draw a line through the work you want ignored and move on. Not only does erasing waste precious time, but you may discover later that you erased something useful (and/or maybe worth partial credit if you cannot complete the problem). You are (usually)notrequired to fit your answer in the space provided - you can put your answer on another sheet to avoid needing to erase.In a multiple-step problem

outlinethe steps before actually working the problem.

Don'tgive up on a several-part problem just because you can't do the first part. Attempt the other part(s) - if the actual solution depends on the first part, at least explain how youwoulddo it.Make sure you

readthe questionscarefully, and doall partsof each problem.

Verifyyour answers - does each answer make sense given the context of the problem?If you finish early,

checkevery problem (that meansreworkeverything from scratch).Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. "Success in Mathematics." Saint Louis University <online 6/11/1997>.

Home Back to Math Skills Contact the site coordinator

revised 08.20.1999 08:47