Six Steps to Dominating Standardized Exams!

There are two words most high school students dread; standardized testing. Even though these exams may be daunting, they are extremely important for success in high school, as well as college. Standardized testing occurs throughout all four years of high school, so, it is very important to establish organized testing strategies. Here are six suggestions for students to remember during each process of preparing for a standardized exam.

  • Make sure you have enough time to study. It is very important to map out a study plan prior to any exam. Every individual will need different amounts of time to study before their standardized exam, so plan accordingly to your learning ability. You can find a lot of resources on College Board for exams like the SAT, ACT, as well as AP exams, and teachers are great resources!
  • Wake up early and eat something! Even if you are nervous, food fuels your brain. If your exam is in the morning try to have a balanced breakfast. If it falls in the afternoon make sure you eat a snack before. Your body needs the energy it gets from food! Also, waking up early on the day of your exam gives your brain time to wake up.
  • Remember most standardized exams are timed. Watch your timing for each and every section. It is important to concentrate on answering the questions you know first, so that you do not waste any of the time you are given. You can always use strategies such as process of elimination with multiple-choice questions to get you through the exam at a faster pace.
  • Make sure you read all directions carefully. Some questions can be worded to trick you. You want to clarify each step and make sure you are completely answering every question. If there are multiple-choice sections, make sure you read and re-read the overall directions. If you are answering any type of short answer question, make sure your writing is comprehensive and answers each and ever part of the question asked.
  • Check how each standardize exam is scored. It is important to know that exams like the SAT’s have unique scoring. This way you know if it is better to guess at questions you may not be sure of, or just skip over the questions that you find to be the most difficult. Some exams will subtract points for a wrong answer, but not for an answer that is omitted.
  • Try to relax. Anxiety can only hurt your exam performance; so remember to take deep breaths during any test. You will do great as long as you have confidence in your own abilities.

In the end, standardized exams are only as bad as you make them. Remember, taking practice tests and studying in advance, can bring you closer to a higher test score. Standardized exams are difficult, but preparation can always make the exam taking process easier. Study hard, do your exam research, fuel your brain and remember to breathe- you are going to do amazing!

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Kayla Yokoyama

Kayla Yokoyama

Kayla Yokoyama is a recent graduate from the University of California Davis with degrees in both communication and economics. When she isn't working at the City of Davis, you can find Kayla reading, writing, or hanging out with her friends and family. She loves to listen to music and adores her two cats.
Kayla Yokoyama

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