Now that the season of sleigh bells and Santa is gone, itís time for the best season of all Ė testing! (Do I sense any sarcasm in the room?) Iím not sure I remember a time when there wasnít a huge assortment of assessment tests to take in everything from physical education to mathematics, but I for one would just as soon be done with the tests and maybe learn something interesting.
But my personal beef with all the tests weíre now required to take is not important in the scheme of things. What is important is being sure that I pass the tests. For anyone out there worried about tests in any subject, here are a few things I do to be sure Iím as ready as possible.
I have friends who are ďsickĒ a lot and some who really are ill. Regardless of whether they are love sick or actually vomiting, they miss a lot of school. Then my truant friends wonder why their grades are low.
If youíre not in school, youíre not hearing the information and youíll miss the little extra things the teachers like to throw in. Doing your missing work is only a small portion of catching up. Youíd really need to hear everything the teacher had to say that day and any classroom discussion, too. But since you canít go back in time, just be sure you show up the first time. Even feeling bad, youíll still get more out of it than you would trying to make it up later Ė this is not true if youíre throwing up. Stay home, for goodness sake!
Pay Attention and Take Notes
When youíre sitting in class, are you doing anything besides listening? Well, Iím making an assumption that youíre listening. When youíre in class, you should be looking at the teacher, reading whatís on the board, thinking about or even answering her questions and jotting down notes about whatís most important.
If youíre new to note taking, you can just copy down what she writes on the board or overhead. Those notes will get you a bit further ahead as youíll learn the material better the first time and have it to study later, but the best note taking also includes things that the teacher is actually saying Ė especially extra details about the items sheís written down. Start working on notes now. Youíll need powerful note-taking skills to survive at the university level.
Build Confidence in Yourself
Many people struggle with taking tests because they panic. Test anxiety is very real and if you donít have ways to calm yourself down, it can hurt your scores substantially. The best way to overcome anxiety in the short-term is to build up confidence in yourself. Give yourself regular pep talks about how much you know and how well youíve been paying attention. Study until you feel good about the information.
When you know you donít know, itís easy to panic facing a big test. When you know as much as you can, at least, youíre fighting with the best ammunition available to you and that, at least, feels pretty good.