Beating the Clock

It is easy to feel the pressure of the clock.  If you’re not careful—and prepared—it will get to you and drag down your score.  Let’s discuss how to beat the clock when taking EXAM. Here are five simple steps to help you maximize your score while minimizing your stress.

  1. Set your pace: Before you start filling in the multiple-choice answers, look at how many questions you have. Calculate how much time you have for each question, and scan through the questions so you have a general idea of what you’re up against.
  2. Make it easy: As you start going through the questions, don’t let yourself get hung up. Instead, successful test-takers complete the less-difficult questions first. Focus on answers that come quickly; then, depending on how much time is left, go back through and tackle the ones that caused you to stumble. Sometimes, if you come back to a question after you’ve completed others, it can give you a fresh perspective.
  3. Know the score: No matter how much you studied, there may still be a few answers you simply won’t have. This is when you need to know whether the test deducts points for incorrect answers, or if a wrong answer won’t have an effect on  the overall score.
  4. Weigh the consequences: If a certain part of the test is worth a larger percentage of the overall test score, then focus more of your time on that section. For example, if a certain section of a three-part test is 50 percent of the entire score, try to spend half of your time on that section before moving on to the others. When completing a test with essay questions, start with the larger essays first — that way you’ll have them taken care of before you burn out or run out of time.
  5. Review time: If you’ve gone through all the questions and still have time, go back through to double-check your answers. Don’t second-guess an answer unless you think you misread the question. But otherwise, keep an eye out for careless errors — and double check you wrote the answers in the right place.
  6. But above all else, keep calm. It’s easy to focus on the clock when you’re taking a timed test, but it’s the questions you need to be focused on. And while having a stopwatch or some kind of countdown clock may be helpful to some, for others it may be just one more distraction. Just stay focused, stay calm and remember what you’ve been studying.

A great score, or at least a better one, is sure to follow.



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