Tips & Tidbits

9 Top Secrets For Improving Test Taking

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Time check! You have decided to get a degree abroad, and have probably listed your schools of interest. Now you know a standardized challenge to overcome are the tests. Though various schools have different thresholds for test scores that they accommodate, we have stretched out 9 secrets to improve your test taking skills.


test taking


Understand What Your Test Assesses

Whether you’re preparing for undergraduate or postgraduate studies, it is important that you know what your test assesses. An insight into what’s fundamentally being tested guides your thought process, your preparation and also the conduct of the test itself.

Know Your Test Structure, Timing and Guidelines

While going into test preparations directly with basic math and verbal knowledge is just fine, many students usually get lost in the details, without having a structure to proceed with. Beforehand, you should know the sections of the test, the timing, and also the regulations. To boost your test taking experience, try finding out if the test is computer adaptive, has negative marking and whether all questions carry equal marks.

Look Out For Test Prep Alternatives

There are many options you can explore to get quality learning, but this all depends on your personality. You may choose to attend a tutorial centre, hire a personal test coach, or maximize the use of webinars. Some people, however, prefer to study alone within the comfort of their home. It’s essential that you understand what works for you and choose the option that best aligns with your strengths and weaknesses.

Choose the Best Study Materials

The material you use to prepare for your test can either make or mar your scores. There are many materials available online and in book stores, but not all may suit you. Some quantitative books, for example, are designed for math experts while others are made for beginners. Also, some test prep centres have better books for the GREs than for the GMAT. On this note, you want to take independent assessment and revise reviews before making decisions.

Develop A Study Plan

Now that you have chosen your test prep options and your study materials, what’s next? A study plan and timetable! This automatically increases the chances of your test taking success. It is not always enough to develop a plan, you must stick to it. It’s predicate that you consider other commitments and side events that might prevent you from studying effectively, while putting together a plan.

No, Don’t Burn Out

Don’t be deceived into thinking that the outcome of your test is directly proportional to the amount of time and energy you put into preparing for it. Studying hardly work that way. Tests are designed to assess many other factors. Therefore, while the time you take to prepare depends on you, you should let your test preparations involve your hobbies and interests. You don’t want to burn out before your test day.

Study Smart:

When preparing for your SATs, GMAT, GREs, TOEFL, you should study concisely. It isn’t just enough to practice, endeavour to know the rules behind each questions you solve. Would you rather boil the entire ocean or take part of the ocean and boil and dissect completely? No doubt, you’re smart enough to go for the latter. So, you should learn to work each question with the intent of knowing the fundamentals, because questions are hardly repeated.

Keep Moving

Tests are not designed for perfectionists, so if you do not know a question, keep going. Your test taking skill must reflect ability to adapt to the testing environment. Also ensure that you don’t remain stuck on a question.

Use Your Breaks

Always use your breaks in-between test sections. That said, you don’t necessarily have to be hungry to consider utilizing the breaks. Keep in mind that water and fruits help you stay hydrated.


Your GPA may be outstanding, your recommendation letters may be overboard and you may graduate top of your class, but your test scores are the parameter the Admissions Board uses to compare you with other applicants.


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