TEST WRITING: How
Can I do My Best on the Test?
of test questions
- may have several possible answers, marked as "good-bad"
rather than "right-wrong". The test may require you to
analyse, compare and contrast, give your opinion, etc.
- generally have a definite correct answer. These are
normally marked as "right-wrong". Examples: multiple choice,
true-false, matching, fill-in-the-blank, definitions.
are excellent guidelines for any type of test. If you follow
these, you will write the test well, and with confidence.
what you know first; then return to what you were unsure
guess (objective) or write something (essay) if there
is no penalty for incorrect answers.
for hints in the question to give you clues to the right
you read over the test, jot down information/thoughts
that may be of help to you.
key words in the question.
an outline before writing; organize your thoughts first.
sure you answer what is being asked. If the question has
three parts, your answer should too.
time is running out, switch to point form.
it easy to read/keep the marker happy.
to the point; try to convince the marker that you know
the answer right from the start.
forget the basics. The marker can only mark what you write
the question carefully. Don't bother trying to figure
out hidden meanings and tricks. They're usually not there.
words that suggest a negative (e.g. not or never).
which are "all or nothing" are more likely to be incorrect
(e.g. " all, only, never, always, invariably").
choice format is the most popular type of objective test.
Follow these steps when answering multiple choice questions:
of the correct answer before reading the choices
the question as you read through each choice.
out if marks will be taken off for incorrect answers. If
not, guess when you're not sure. Use these strategies to
help you make the correct choice:
out answers you have decided are definitely incorrect
(i.e. use a process of elimination)
answers you learned. do not choose an unfamiliar term
just because it is unknown.
the answer calls for sentence completion, eliminate those
that don't make grammatical sense
change your choice unless you are absolutely sure!
you receive your test back to keep, rework your errors
to find out why the correct answer was correct.
you do not receive your test back, visit your instructor's
office to take a look at your answer sheet and the questions
for the origin of each question--text, notes, labs, supplementary
the reason you missed questions. Did you fail to read
it correctly? Did you fail to prepare for it? Was the
test at a more difficult level than you prepared for?
Did you run out of time?
the level of detail and skill of the test. Were most of
the questions over precise details and facts or were they
over main ideas and principles? Did the questions come
straight from the text or did the testmaker expect you
to make sophisticated transformations and analyses?
you have any problems with anxiety or blocking during