Test taking tips and tricks


*This student has been asked to remain anonymous and name has been changed.


Test taking: it either comes naturally or turns you crazy as if you could belong to an insane asylum. Here are a few nifty tips and tricks that students can keep in their back pocket while test taking. Why should you listen to these? They are the words from a Howell High School student who had perfect scores on both the ACT and SAT. We are going to assume the best possible answer here, this person knows their stuff.


Keep your body healthy

“I always get a normal, balanced diet and get 8 hours of sleep and then 8-10 hours the day before the test.” George* says. It’s important to keep your body in its most prime position for test taking.


Start at the end

One unique strategy is to answer the questions at the end first. Usually, questions toward the end of the test are worth more points and have a higher difficulty. These are quite often the questions students get wrong, therefore, they are worth more points. If a test taker were to answer the questions at the end right when they get the test, they can start off with the more challenging questions and end with their easier ones.


Stay focused

“If you’re feeling tired, power through it as much as you can. You’re gonna feel bad later after you take that test and you get the results back. You’re going to think, ‘Wow, I would have done a lot better if I just powered through this last portion,’”  George* says.


Stay prepared

“Ask your teachers what else you can do to prepare for the test. Teachers have lots of tips,” George* says.


Good study habits

“If you study on a daily basis, even reading the same thing over and over again, [the material] will become permanent in your brain,” George* says.


Cramming will never help you when studying- short bursts of studying is proven to work more efficiently.


I advise students to create a schedule and plan study times.  Try to not do too much studying at one time.  If you study too much at one time you will tire out and you will not comprehend the information you need. Put your phone away during this study time.  Do not allow any interruptions or distractions,” freshman campus guidance counselor Mrs. Starr says.


Don’t second guess yourself

The knot in the bottom of your stomach is usually the correct answer. The gut instinct is always the way to go.


Stay calm

One of the most cliche, but one of the most important. Students tend to freak out and panic once the test starts. If you have studied and prepared for the test, there should be nothing to worry about. So, avoid unneeded stress by being confident about the material.


Knowing what to study

“Understanding what is the important nucleus of the subject and not the extraneous fluff that’s around it, you got to study things you don’t understand,” HHS English teacher Mr. Joseph Miller says.


Even though test taking isn’t a simple task for most, but putting the time and effort in can help students in years to come.
“[Test taking] doesn’t come naturally, there’s a lot of work you have to put into it, and I would recommend it because ultimately that’s your future,” George* says.