Smart Test-Taking Guidelines

Plenty of individuals experience anxiety when faced with the prospect of undertaking a test. It not only applies to students but adults as well. You can end up chewing off your pencil or sweating when facing an imminent test, though you should always remember that you stand as no island and plenty of other people experience the same. 

It always proves natural to get anxious about a test, and sometimes, this adrenaline can prove instrumental in jump-starting you. But what can you do to take your exam boldly and effectively?

Guidelines for Taking Exams

  • Study comprehensively. It becomes essential to study thoroughly to stand any chance of facing and tackling your exams without stress and anxiety. It becomes crucial to accumulate all the relevant information through your study sessions to answer questions presented in the exam.
  • Sufficient sleep. It becomes crucial to get sufficient sleep on a penultimate night before exams. Such rest will enhance your memory recall. Additionally, this assertion gets backed by studies that show students who rested sufficiently performed better in math compared to students who spent the entire night studying. 
  • Listen to instructions. Listening closely to all the instructions will prove instrumental in effectively answering the exam questions. It will equip you with an understanding of what to expect and the expectations in the exam.
  • Read through the exam paper. It becomes crucial to go over the entire test paper before you start answering the questions. It will help you feel how long the paper proves besides every expected section to complete. As such, you can estimate your time for each section and ask pertinent questions wherever necessary instead of panicking.  
  • Concentrate on addressing every question individually. It becomes necessary to answer each question in isolation and avoid obsessing over a single question that you have no idea about. In such instances, move to the next question and return after answering the other questions.
  • Relax. At times, nervousness can lead to blanking out, and in such cases, it would help if you took a mini-break. As much as you might not get an opportunity to leave the exam room, you can instead wiggle your toes and fingers, take deep breaths, etc., to give yourself some break. It becomes crucial to remember that forgetting happens to aspects that prove close to our hearts, like key combinations. However, when you take time, you will eventually remember. The same principle should apply in an exam situation where you cannot remember an answer to a question.
  • Check your work. In most instances, you will finish your exam early before the allocated time lapses. In such scenarios, it becomes prudent to go over your answers and ensure that all the details add up. It will help you correct the mistakes committed. However, when you run too close to the bell and have five minutes to hand in your paper. It becomes essential to conclude without panicking. 


If you want to approach your exams without anxiety and tackle questions confidently and effectively, considering these tips can prove pivotal to your efforts. Additionally, if you experience abnormal stress or anxiety, seek counseling help.

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