Get settled

  • Try to stay relaxed. If you start to feel nervous take a few deep breaths to relax or try one of these relaxation tips.
  • Find a position to keep your exam private; take steps to avoid the possibility of academic integrity concerns.

Glance over the entire exam

  • How will you use the time allotted? Think about the exam one step at a time. You will be much less likely to find it overwhelming.
  • Plan to do the easiest problems and the problems with the greatest point values first.
  • Leave the most time-consuming problems or problems you are stuck on for the end, especially those with low point values.

Memory dump

  • When you receive the exam, write down concepts, formulas, and vocabulary terms.

Read carefully

  • Always read the whole question carefully. Many test questions at the college level have multiple queries or prompts.
  • Do not make assumptions about what the question might be asking. If something does not make sense to you, ask the instructor.

Pace yourself

  • Do not linger too long on one question. If you do not know the answer right away, then leave it and come back to it later. By doing this, you will be less likely to miss points for questions that you can answer correctly. It might also help build up your test-taking confidence and minimize undue test anxiety.
  • Do not worry if others finish before you. Focus on the test in front of you or try a quick relaxation tip to help shift your mindset.

Show as much work as possible

  • For questions with math or formulas, make sure that you are showing your work for all parts of the question.
  • For written tests, outline the answer before you begin writing. Include course terms and concepts in your answers.

Check your work

  • Confirm that you have answered every question completely.
  • Proofread. Look for careless mistakes such as missed accents, dropped negatives, and arithmetic errors. Look over multiple-choice questions again.
  • Review answers in case you misinterpreted the question, or if you found corrective information elsewhere in the exam.