3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Does anyone have any test taking tips?

Hello! I am currently a sophomore with a 3.9 GPA and I am a super anxious test taker. I always do well in class and study to my best ability but tests always bring down my grades. I estimated that I will have a 3.8 GPA when I graduate because of this! I am in serious need of any tips on how to stay calm and focused on tests!

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

The thing that helped me with my test anxiety was changing my study-style from just trying to build up my broad skill and knowledge, to practicing the applications to the test.

The easiest way to do this is to do as many practice problems as possible. Doing mock-tests for your tests means that when the actual tests rolls around it doesn't feel as overwhelming and new. Ask your teachers if there are any resources or worksheets they can give you that have similarly styled questions to that of the test.

If your teacher gives you a study guide do it as if you were taking a test. Once you are able to check your answers, go through every problem that you got wrong and write down why you got it wrong (I like to do this with a colored pen directly on my paper). If it is a big study guide with lots of questions, I do a few of the questions in each category while allowing myself to use external resources and check my answers right after doing the problem, but I make sure to write down everything I had to google or got wrong on a seperate piece of paper. Then, I take the rest of the study guide as if it were a test and I couldn't use anything; and I only check my work at the end so that I can see what mistakes I make (you want there to be mistakes on your study guide, it means you can pinpoint where things usually go wrong).

If the subject has questions that you can't grade by yourself, try asking your teacher if they can grade your answers for you. Don't be afraid to reach out to teachers, be specific about the fact that tests are what you have trouble with. A lot of good teachers have prepared resources, or old worksheets they dont use anymore.

3 years ago

Hello! I've been in the same situation with tests, grades are great until a test comes around and i get anxious. I have tried quite a few things and though its weird i suggest eating bananas! They calm you down because they contain tryptophan. Also, depending on what you are testing focusing on one thing at a time always helps. If you are reading passage read one sentence and make sure you fully get it before moving on, reading to fast or loosing focus is easy when your mind is scrambling. Then if its math just focus one at a time, don't think about how many are left, it is better to not finish a few and get a lot right then get them all done rushed and incorrect. You definitely want to avoid thinking about the fact it is a test, try to think of it as a practice test. There really isn't much to do when it comes to anxiety without taking meds but the best thing to do is just take it one question at a time, resolve any problems going on outside the test (if possible), and take melatonin the night before to get better sleep (again, if possible) and relax your mind.

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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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