www.whyville.net Sep 21, 2008 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Cool School: Taking Tests

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Welcome back, class. Last week, we practiced studying for tests. This week, we are going to practice taking tests! This topic, just like note-taking and test-prepping, is extremely important all the way through school. So listen up everyone, because class is in session here at the Cool School!

This article is going to be split into small sections. First up is what to do the night before, and the morning before a test.

- Get a good night's sleep. The night before the test could change your grade. Go to bed on time, or even a little earlier, for all of the night owls reading this article. If you don't get a good night's sleep, you will not be as aware during your test, and your brain won't think quite as well. By being unaware, you could miss instructions, and your brain being tired could easily make you get easy problems wrong.
- Eat a big breakfast. Even if you don't typically eat breakfasts, make sure that you do on test days. Eating breakfast will increase your brain activity, and help you think while you are taking your test. If you want to add a little bit of studying into your breakfast, glance at your notes while eating your food.

Now, we are going to discuss what to do during a test.

- Listen to the teacher's instructions. Sometimes, your teacher makes a typo that needs to be corrected, or she/he realizes that a problem wasn't covered very well in the book. Listen carefully, your teacher might edit, or even REMOVE a problem.
- Relax. You have studied hard for this, and you know it. Just take it easy and calm down.
- Survey the test. Pretty self-explanatory. Take a look at the test before beginning it. By doing this, you will have a better idea of what is coming up on the test.
- Read each question carefully. When you read a problem, read it CAREFULLY. Otherwise, you could complete 20 math problems only to find out that you just had to estimate them, not solve them.
- When in doubt, rule them out. When you are having trouble with a multiple choice question, rule out what you know it CANNOT be. Then, if you are still lost, guess.
- Skip it and come back to it. You know that your teachers have told you this before, but you might not realize just how true it is. If you don't understand a problem, come back to it after you have finished everything else. When you come back to it, you have a clear mind, and you can think about it a little better.
- Ask a teacher. If you don't understand what the instructions mean, or you think there's a typo, ask your teacher. They can't tell you what to do, but they can help you comprehend what the problem is asking of you.
- Write what you know. If you are having trouble with the short answer questions, just write what you know about it. Don't try to fluff it up with unnecessary words, because it just gets teachers mad.
- Double-check. Do a glance over. Check that you worked troublesome math problems out, or gave the right answer in true/false. When you're confident you did well, turn it in, and relax! You finished the test!

Whew! That was a lot of information! Feel free to reread this week's lesson, as well as going back to the previous weeks. Make sure that you are ready to learn, because "Cool School" is going to be back next week with another lesson! Until then, practice these cool skills!



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