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Monday, February 2, 2015

Test Taking Tips

Second semester is coming in full swing, and with that comes the inevitability of test-taking season. Whether it be the SAT, ACT, AP, or IB, standardized testing is a common experience among almost all high school students. To try to alleviate some testing anxiety, here are some tips:

1. Familiarize yourself with the test
Standardized testing is not necessarily a measure of intelligence. Knowing the test is often more important than how smart you believe you are. The format and types of questions don't change between tests of the same type (unless you will be taking the redesigned 2016 SAT or any redesigned AP test). This means that before going into the test, you can learn how to work through each type of question, and maybe even learn how to avoid some traps. 

For this, I would recommend taking the time to work through a prep book. Many companies publish these, and many books come with multiple practice tests to work through and really learn the test. 

2. Give yourself time to study
Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will mastery of a four hour test. The amount of time you need to study depends on your study style. Some people prefer studying for a little bit at a time, over a long period of time, while others prefer studying for extended periods at a time, over a shorter period of time. Once you know your study style you prefer, note the test days (ACT test dates  and SAT test dates) and create a schedule. Stick to it,and your practice will surely aid you when the test comes around.

3. Relax! (Really)
Even if it seems like your life is going to be ruined by a bad test score, remember that at the end of the day, your score is just a number a paper. It doesn't define you or indicate your future success. And even if your score is lower than desired, there are opportunities to retake until you have reached your target score. On test day, don't let anxiety prevent you from doing your very best. You studied, so let that show.

With these tips in mind, I wish you all success in your testing future. Study hard!

Written by Jenna M, Homework Assistant 

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