6 Test Taking Strategies
Sierra College – Tutor and Testing Center



Try to eat before the exam.
•  Students should have nourishment before taking exams.
•  If possible, carry a granola bar or bagel with you if needed.



Arrive on time for the exam.
•  Try to arrive at least 10 minutes early for the exam.
•  Relax your mind. Close books and rest.



Be prepared with supplies.
•  Be sure you have pens, sharp pencils, eraser, calculator, spell check.
•  Bring a watch with correct time to pace yourself as you take the exam.



Skim the test before beginning it.
•  Look over all the questions, do everything you know well first. Then go back to items or questions you were not sure about.
•  Do not spend more than 5-7 minutes on any questions without results. Leave it and move on to the next one.



Do Not Panic!
•  If you see a question worth a high percentage of the total grade and you cannot answer it, remain calm. Flip through the test until you find a question you can answer.
•  Sometimes in answering another question, a phrase or thought will jog your memory.



Taking the exam
•  If you need clarification, ask your professor.
•  Ask the professor for clarification of an exam question, if the intent of  the question is unclear.
•  In multiple choice/true-false questions, do not read more into the question than you see.
•  For “short answer” questions, write at least 2-3 sentence responses.
•  Write concisely when answering an essay question.
•  Never leave blanks on exams.
•  Check exam before you pass it in.