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Top 15 Test Tips

Test Tips for Every Multiple Choice Test

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I’m sure there are a number of things you’d rather be doing than learning test tips for a standardized test – getting your neck-skin caught in a zipper, dropping a brick on your foot, getting all of your molars pulled. You know – things that sound way more fun than sitting at a computer monitor staring at the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE. In case you decide to forego major bodily damage in favor of scratching out a few answers to multiple-choice questions, read these general test tips before you head to the testing facility.

Specific test tips for the SAT, ACT, LSAT and GRE

Test Tip #1: Prepare

African American female teen studying with mom
Gary S Chapman/ Photographer's Choice/ Getty Images

The first test tip (and most obvious) is to prepare yourself for your test. You’ll feel much better if you know what you’re up against. Take a class, hire a tutor, buy the book, go online. Prep before you go, so you’re not riddled with test anxiety about what’s coming. Here's a headstart on a few standardized tests:

SAT Prep | ACT Prep | GRE Prep | LSAT Prep

Test Tip #2: Know the Procedures

Memorize the test directions beforehand, because direction-reading time counts against your testing time.

Test Tip #3: Eat Brain Food

You may feel nauseous before a test, but studies prove that consuming brain food like eggs or green tea before completing a brain-draining task like test-taking can improve your score.  A good choice? Try a turkey and cheese omelet. Eating brain food is just one of the 5 things you should do on test day to prepare!

Test Tip #4: Wear Comfortable Clothes

Test day is not the time to squeeze into your super-skinny jeans. If you’re uncomfortable, your brain will expend precious energy bothering you to fix the problem. Go with your favorite broken-in jeans in case the air is cranking. Avoid "cozy" clothes - you know, the sweats  you sleep in. You want to be alert, not succumbing to the ambient noise of the radiator.

Test Tip #5: Exercise Beforehand

Speedy legs = speedy brain. Research shows that by utilizing this test tip - exercise - you can improve the performance of the brain by boosting memory and processing speed. Cool, huh? So take a run around the block before test time.

Test Tip#6: Practice Yoga

It’s not just for granola-lovers. Yoga is one way that greatly helps your body de-stress, and high levels of stress can negatively affect your test performance. So, kick off your shoes, take a deep breath, and swan-dive into the downward dog the morning of your test. If you're running late, try these steps you can do in your seat to overcome test anxiety right before you test.

Test Tip #7: Create Your Environment

At the testing site, select a seat away from the door and near the back of the room (fewer interruptions). Avoid the air conditioning vent, pencil sharpener, and the coughers. Bring a bottle of water to avoid having to get up if you’re thirsty.

Test Tip #8: Start Easy

If you’re taking a pencil-and-paper test, answer all the easy questions first, and leave the longer reading sections until last. You’ll gain confidence and extra points.

Test Tip #9: Paraphrase

If you’re don’t understand a tough question, try rephrasing it or reordering the words to help it make sense.

Test Tip #10: Cover the Answers

On a multiple-choice test, answer the question in your head with the choices covered. Once you’ve made a guess, uncover the answers and see if you can find a paraphrase of what you just thought.

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