Test Prep

You can get through it

You've completed your hours of studying and you're ready to write your test - perhaps the scariest part of the learning process! We all worry about having our minds "freeze up" during a test and not being able to remember the important information. Here, we've compiled a list of tips to help you stay cool, composed and confident on test day:

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Be Prepared

This should go without saying, but you have to put in the work if you want to see results. Don't leave yourself stranded at test time; make sure you go in with the confidence that you know your material.

Eat Right

Don't write your test on an empty stomach. Your brain and body need fuel to function at their best. If your test is in the morning, make sure you get a good breakfast. If it's later in the day, make sure you eat healthy throughout.

Get a Good Sleep

Although it's tempting to get in as much study time as possible, avoid pulling an all-nighter before a test. Your brain performs best when it's rested. Even if you can't sleep, stay in bed and try to rest. Getting up and studying, reading or watching television will only leave you feeling restless and anxious.

Breathe Deeply

Write the test in a relaxed state. On the day of the test, do some stretching and deep breathing. Some people meditate, do yoga or pray. Many people who have to handle stress on a daily basis credit these relaxation practices as the basis for their ability to manage stress.

Repeat Positive Messages

Remind yourself of your goal for the test and tell yourself how you're going to achieve it. If you believe that you'll succeed, you're more likely to do so.

Focus on What You Know, Not What You Don't Know

Do the easier questions first. If you are taking a paper test rather than an online test, skim ahead to the first question you can answer and begin from there. After you've finished all the questions that you're sure of, go back to the ones that require more thought. That way, if you run out of time, you won't have left any easy questions unfinished.

Use the Process of Elimination

Stuck on a particular question? Eliminate answers you know are wrong then work from there. Even if you can only narrow it down to a 50 / 50 chance, those are much better odds than taking a wild guess.

Use Your Best Guess

If you aren't sure of the answer, trust your instincts and pick the answer that feels right to you (unless of course you are penalized for wrong answers). Even if you aren't totally correct in your answer, you may earn partial credit. It's rarely a good idea to leave questions blank.

Collect Your Thoughts

Give yourself little mental breaks as you need them. Stress can pile up during an exam, particularly if it isn't going well, so it's important to remain composed and relaxed. Look up at the ceiling for a minute and take a deep breath. Close your eyes and forget where you are. Then refocus on the task at hand.

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