Exam Taking Tips

There's no denying the sweaty palms, pounding head and sudden vacancy in the part of the brain dedicated to everything that happens be on the current test that's being taken. Taking tests is one of the biggest anxiety-inducing activities for college students, and many students even find themselves struggling to maintain acceptable grades because of text anxiety. Use these handy exam taking tips to learn how to relax, breathe and exceed at test-taking.

Stay Calm

Breathe and read. Anxiety often makes the brain feel muddled and leads to a lack of reading comprehensive. Take a few deep breaths and take the time to deliberately read through each question before answering it. Many people like to read through the entire exam before beginning to answer any questions. It may be beneficial to make quick notes for longer problems to make sure that key points stay in mind. Review the answer after completing the question and compare it to the question to make sure that it is logical.

Keep Refreshed

Most examination proctors allow clear water bottles to be brought into the examination hall. Ensure that you are well hydrated during an exam as this helps to fight off anxiety and clear your mind. 


Find perspective before taking an exam. While a test could be worth a percentage of the overall class grade, don't give one test more clout than it deserves. All this does is contribute to test-taking anxiety.

Plan to manage time before stepping into the examination room. Scrambling to calculate the remaining time after half of the test is already over does nothing but waste time and isn't conducive to successful exam taking. Realizing that time management concerns were ignored in the planning process can just lead to more anxiety.

Time Management

Time management during an exam means having a convenient source for checking on the time so that you are able to keep track of your progress. Since most test proctors do not allow cell phones during the testing process, bring a watch to stay informed about time, don’t rely on the exam hall to have a clock. Take time at the start of the test to become familiar with the types of questions and quickly formulate a schedule for completing each section.

Take a minute after the test is completed to go through each page and check for incomplete answers. Make sure the carefully check the pages to be sure that none have stuck together. There have been students who have missed an entire page of a test by accident, but don't let this fact fuel anxiety. Instead, use this knowledge as a cue to double-check tests before handing them in.

Ask for help

Don't be afraid to seek out help if test anxiety is severe enough to interfere with everyday life and is not controlled with the exam taking tips listed above. Many colleges have realized that test anxiety is a real problem that can keep even exceptional students from excelling. Counselors may be able to discuss options for taking tests that can reduce anxiety and increase success. Students who have a proven problem with testing anxiety may be allowed to have more time to take an exam or may be given a quiet area to work on the test.

Author Bio: This article was contributed by Eli David who is the owner and founder of Consulting Guru which is a company that guides and mentors students and young professionals through the management consulting recruiting process. Consulting Guru, led by Eli has a carefully thought out strategy for the entire recruiting process. Initial interviews at all the top firms are daunting, many of them include problems solving test like McKinsey has their famous McKinsey PST. From writing CV’s and cover letters to the initial interview and further career advancement in your current management consulting position Consulting Guru has a special package suited to you.   

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