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Double negatives make a positive. For example "not uncommon" actually means common. Guidelines for Essay Questions Organize your thoughts before you begin to write. A short outline on a separate piece of paper will improve your essay. Write the topics and the key introductory words. Paraphrase the original question to form your introductory statement. This process helps you get the question straight in your mind.

Restating the question allows the teacher to see how you understood the question. Perhaps you understood it to mean something other than what the teacher intended. Use the principles of English composition Form a clear thesis statement statement of purpose and place it as near to the beginning as possible. Provide clear explanations to back up the main concept. Remember, a complete answer usually has a main idea, supporting details and illustrative examples.

Teachers need to be able to read it. Making teachers work hard to read lowers your grade. Print clearly, using a dark-colored erasable ball point pen. Avoid crossing out words or sentences, and don't smudge your paper. Remember to save some space for a brief but adequate summary. Use lists or bullets wherever possible.


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Numbers or bullets allow the teacher to easily see your points. Never bury your lists or key points in the middle of a paragraph. If you must use a long paragraph, underline your key points. Identify the verbs or words in the question that give you direction. Key words in each question describe the task you are expected to complete. Ask questions if you don't understand or need clarification. Do a quick "mind dump" of information you don't want to forget.

Write it down on scrap paper or in the margin. Answer the easiest questions first, to help yourself calm down.

Test-taking Strategies | Academic Success Center

Matching questions are often good to start with because they provide a reminder of important terms and definitions. Use good strategies for answering multiple choice and other objective questions. Look for the central idea of each question. What is the main point? Statements that begin with always, never, none, except, most, or least-are probably NOT the answer. Underline these or other key words if you are allowed to write on the test paper. Try to supply your own answer before choosing an alternative listed on the test.

Mark an answer for every question. If you have to guess: The length of choices can be a clue.

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If two choices are similar, choose neither. If two choices are opposites, choose one of them. The most general alternative is usually the right answer. When answering essay questions, remember that the objective is to demonstrate how well you can explain and support an idea, not just what you know. Keep the following in mind: Read over all the essay questions before you start to write. Underline key words like define , compare , explain, etc. Think before you write. Remember, a good answer: Starts with a direct response to the question.

Test Taking Strategies

Find out details about the format of the test. Ask your professor if you will have to write any essays. If essays are your weak point, research potential essay topics and create an outline in order to save time for other sections of the test.

Test Taking Strategies - How to POP an "A" on School Test - Kantis Simmons

Also, remember to ask about the rules for test day. Will you be permitted to go to the restroom during the test? Is there a strict time limit? During the exam Read the test directions closely. If you have questions, ask your instructor to clarify the matter, either to you personally or to the entire class. If you feel yourself panicking or stressing out, put down your pencil and take several long, deep breaths. Do this several times throughout the test to clear your mind and fill your blood with oxygen.

Imagine yourself relaxing and visualize a calm image. Survey the test before beginning. Glance over the entire test and form a loose plan for how you will spend your time. You do not need to closely inspect every question, but your plan may be very different for a test with fifteen multiple-choice questions and six essay questions than for one with ninety multiple-choice questions and one essay.

If the professor provides the point value of each question or section, focus on the sections with the highest point value if you expect to be pressed for time.