Test Taking Strategies I

December 11, 2007

Hi, it’s Krista.

One aspect of the GED is gaining test taking skills.  Some people say that taking a test doesn’t test ones knowledge base, but ones ability to take tests.  For people who have test anxiety, this is especially true.  If you “freeze up” or “go blank” because you’re too scarred or nervous about the test, it doesn’t matter if you know the answers or not.  Here are a few suggestions to calm yourself down so that you can focus on the test, instead of your fear of the test.

1.  Begin psyching yourself up.  Tell yourself that the test doesn’t matter.  That it’s “no big deal”.  Tests really don’t matter in the whole scheme of life.  By putting the test into perspective, you will begin to eliminate some of your stress.  Your life won’t be over if you don’t pass one test.  You can always try again later!

2.  Use memory tools.  You have five senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight.  The more senses that you get involved, the more you remember.  The number one sense for memory recall is smell.  If you can get the sense of smell involved, you’ll remember considerably more.  I recommend chewing peppermint gum or candy when you study.  Then have the same gum or candy when you take the test.  You could also wear the same perfume or cologne when you study and take your test. 

3.  Break it up.  Most testing centers offer the GED test over two days, while others offer an all day test.  I recommend taking the test in small intervals, the all day test is too overwhelming for most people.  Take the breaks that are provided and do some exercise and deep breathing.  Get out of the testing room!  Walk around outside, do some jumping jacks, and do some stretching.  Then close your eyes and do some belly breathing for about 5 minutes.  Put one hand over your bellybutton and the other hand over your heart, now take slow deep breaths.  Make sure that your lower hand is being pushed out when you inhale.  Now your ready to return to the test.  Your brain and body will be more focused and less stressed out.

Those are just a few test taking strategies.  I’ll be posting more later on.  Have a great holiday!  Enjoy time with your friends and family.

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