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General Test Taking Guidelines

Read all exam directions and instructions carefully:

  • Never assume you know what the directions say.
  • Listen closely to any verbal instructions.
  • Make sure you carefully read and follow all directions and any special instructions for the exam.
  • Make sure you understand the directions and instructions before you start to answer the questions.

If you are completing a paper/pencil exam:

  • Make sure you are answering the correct test questions in the correct test booklets.
  • Do not mark more than one answer for each question on a multiple choice exam.
  • Make sure you get the right test booklets for your particular exam and for determining which problems you are to answer.
  • Refer to your exam materials for information on which exam booklets and problems you are to answer.
  • Please note: Not all examinations require exam booklets or special instructions.
  • Make sure the choice you mark on your answer sheet matches the question you are answering in the test booklet:
    • Mark your answer sheet carefully and make sure your marks completely fill the spaces.
  • Check your work to make sure that the number of the problem you are answering in the exam booklet matches the choice you are marking on your answer sheet.
  • Make sure you record all your answers on the answer sheet.
  • Make sure you fill in the circles for your choices, completely and carefully.
  • Avoid making stray pencil marks on your answer sheet. The scanning machine may interpret these marks to be your answers.

If you are completing an exam in E-Test:

  • Select your correct answer on the computer.
  • Make sure you get the right test booklets for your particular exam and for determining which problems you are to answer.
  • Refer to your exam materials for information on which exam booklets and problems you are to answer.
  • Please note: Not all examinations require exam booklets or special instructions.

Budget your time wisely:

  • Use all the time allotted for the exam, if you have extra time, cover up your answers and actually rework the problem.
  • Budget your time so that you will be able to complete the entire exam.
  • Try to save time to review your answers before submitting your exam.
  • Allow time to check problems.
  • aUse allotted time wisely. Make every effort to pace yourself so you can have a chance to answer every problem within the time limit.

Read each problem carefully:

  • Read over all of your options.
  • Re-read problems.
  • Eliminate highly unlikely answers.
  • Read each problem carefully and thoroughly. Before answering the problem, determine exactly what is being asked. Do not select the first answer you come to that seems to make sense. It may seem to fit, but you are looking for the best answer.
  • Never skim a question for possible answers as you may miss important information.

Be alert to key words that you must consider to answer the question correctly:

  • This will allow you to focus on the central point

Break large problems into more manageable parts and analyze each part:

  • Breaking a problem down can make it clear to you, but be sure you do not change the meaning of the problem
  • Break into smaller parts
  • Go back and work on hard problems

Use a process of elimination, if you are not sure about the answer to a question:

  • Take the problems in order but do not spend a lot of time pondering over those you are unfamiliar with. A good practice is to first answer the questions you are sure of, then, if you complete the exam before time is called, reconsider those about which you were uncertain.

Guess if you do not know the answer to a question:

  • Do not linger too long on one question. Mark your best guess and move on, returning later if you have enough time
  • If you make a straight guess at a multiple choice answer, you have a one-in-four chance of getting it right; if you eliminate one option, you have a one-in-three chance of getting it right