Junior Journey: How to Improve Test Taking Skills for Those Who Struggle

Do you wish you were able to get a top score on every test? Some people can easily do well on standardized tests while others really struggle. If you do poorly on tests, there are strategies that can help.

Some proven test strategies for the SAT or ACT test include answering the easiest questions first, marking your test booklet if needed, and eliminating the wrong choices to clarify right answers. But there are proven test preparation methods that can help with most written exams.

  • Control fight or flight: when we get stressed, our minds trigger a natural fight or flight mechanism. This means we want to run from or fight danger. When we become worried, we can become too nervous to do well on a test. For some this mechanism can make a person immobile.

Practice calming yourself down in stressful situations through thinking positively, controlling your breathing, or taking short breaks to think about something relaxing. This helps the mind to function more fully.

  • Practice focus and concentration: to focus and concentrate better, need to take care of both your body and mind. You should:
  1. Get adequate and regular sleep.
  2. Eat a healthy diet including foods that are good for your brain.
  3. Develop your ability to focus on tasks to sharpen your mind. Better focus will assist with classroom work, testing, essay writing, etc. . .
  4. Drink plenty of water to improve focus and memory

For example, it may take you 20 minutes to learn a list of 10 science terms. With this understanding, plan a study schedule so that you have plenty of time to study when your mind is at its peak.

  • Prepare for test day: on test day, be sure to eat a healthy meal, exercise, and drink plenty of water. Remind yourself of your study helps (such as methods you used to memorize information, or essential formulas.) Then use your strategy to calm yourself.

Questions? Let us know!