Top 10 Testing Tips

1. Get Good Rest the Night before the Test - All the study in the world will not save you if you can't focus your eyes and your mind is cloudy due to staying up late at night to study before the test. Test taking is an art and you must have a clear, well rested mind to do well. An important tip, and the first in this list for a reason, is to get a good night's rest the day before the test.

2. Eat a Good Meal before Leaving for the Test - Tests usually last a couple of hours. They take much concentration and mental energy. You don't want to have your blood sugar level affect your ability to concentrate. Eat a good meal before leaving to take the test. Stay away from foods that would make you tired.

3. Get to the Testing Location on Time and Mentally Prepare Yourself - You do not want to get lost on your way to the testing location or leave too late such that you miss the beginning of the exam or even have to rush to get to your seat. You want to arrive in enough time to sit for 10 or 15 minutes prior to the test to collect your thoughts and clear your mind. Make sure you have the address to the testing location the day before the test, ensure you have the right directions or use a GPS system and find out beforehand how much time it will take to get there so you know when to leave.

4. Read the Question and Understand What it is Asking - A cardinal rule of test taking is "Do not read into the question and Answer only What is Asked." Before you read the answers, make sure you understand what the question is asking. Do not let yourself insert qualifications into the questions or assume additional fact patterns.

5. Form an Answer in Your Mind before Reading the Answer Options - If an answer comes to you before you read the answer options, and the answer that came to you matches an answer option, odds are that the answer option corresponding to the answer that popped into your head is the correct answer. You know more than you realize. This is how preparation benefits you.

6. Read all of the Answers - Even though the first answer option looks right, read all of the answer options all of the time. One of the answers is the correct choice. All the information to answer the question is there. Read all the answer options to understand what options are available. You will find, while one of the first top selections seems right some of the time, a bottom option will occasionally be the right selection because it qualifies the answer in the correct way. If you just take the first answer that seems right without reading the other answer options, you will not get the benefit of all the information in the answer options.

7. Eliminate Obviously Wrong Answers - Some of the answer options will obviously be wrong. You can increase the odds you will select the right answer and work more efficiently by first eliminating obviously wrong answers.

8. Don't get Stuck on Difficult Questions - Some questions will have difficult or complex fact patterns that require some thought or calculation. If you find yourself getting lost in the facts or numbers, or stuck on the answer options, such that you start feeling anxious that you are wasting time, take the following steps: guess and register an answer, mark the question with some notation that will tell you it was a guess, and come back to it at the end of the test, after you finished all other questions.

9. Pace Yourself - Don't Work too Fast; Don't Work too Slow - Time is a very important element of test taking. Aside from the subject matter, it is the factor that most causes pressure and stress. To obtain a good score, it is important that you have the time to read and answer all of the questions. Tests only allow a certain amount of time per questions. Determine what that time per question is by dividing the time by the number of questions. Pace yourself when taking the test so that you allow yourself enough time to reasonably be able to read and answer all questions. You don't want to work too fast or too slow.

10. Maintain a Good Attitude during the Test - It is important to keep your composure during the test. Having a good attitude will allow you to get through the challenging parts of an exam and avoid becoming down or defeatist, which could slow you down or stop you altogether from finishing the exam. Hang in there and have confidence. If you prepare for the exam following the preparation and test taking tips discussed here, you can have confidence that you will succeed.