Nevada State High School, a tuition-free public, early college charter school in Reno and Las Vegas, understands how important doing well on exams is for succeeding in college classes. If you studied with a group of classmates, taken practice tests, created a notecard, and been consistently studying – you’ve only completed half the battle. You must also be able to properly take the exam, or all your efforts may have been in vain. Below are our top five exam-taking tips.
Sleep Well Before
It’s extremely important to get enough good sleep the night before an exam. The last thing you want is to feel groggy, tired, and irritable from lack of sleep the night before. Get at least eight hours of quality sleep. Put your phone away and limit any screen-time two hours before you plan to go to bed as the blue light from the screen can disrupt your natural sleep cycle. Your brain needs high quality sleep to properly function, which is vital when you’re recalling the material you studied so hard to remember.
Properly Fuel your Body
It’s so easy to forget that our bodies use everything we consume as fuel. While, it may be convenient to stop by your favorite fast-food restaurant on your way to school – don’t! You need to eat a quality balanced breakfast with appropriate brain food to perform your best on the exam. Also, skip the sugar-filled energy drink – it may pump you up for the test, but the sugar will make you crash. You don’t want to be fighting to stay awake on test day. Instead, stick to water. Hydrating your body helps overall function and keeps you alert. If you’re taking a particularly long test, bring a snack and water bottle to give you the boost you need to finish the exam out great.
Give yourself plenty of time to make it to class – it’s best to aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before the exam is scheduled to start. Running late will increase test anxiety but running early will help keep you calm. Arriving early gives you time to get all your test materials ready before the start of the exam so you aren’t scrambling for your booklet or pencil at the last minute. Take the extra time you’ve given yourself to mentally prepare: take deep breaths and remain calm. Let all the preparation and studying you did give you the confidence to ace the exam.
Read Everything First
Before answering a single question, make sure you read through every section of the test, so you understand all the directions and how to properly pace yourself. You don’t want to be surprised by a particular part of the exam. For example, if there’s a free-response section at the end of the exam, you want to make sure you give yourself enough properly answer those questions. If you had never read through everything first, you would’ve never known that you needed to budget extra time for those free-response questions.
Review your Work
Once you’ve answered all the questions, go back through and review all of your work: double-check any calculations you had to make; ensure the answers you selected are the answers you intended to select; read through the answers you provided to ensure they make sense; and make sure you didn’t accidentally leave any questions unanswered.
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