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Ashworth College Blog

5 Test Taking Tips To Boost Your Grades

Written by Des Sinkevich on Monday, 07 March 2022. Posted in Life Hacks

Woman taking notes in front of laptop.

If you’re hoping to improve your grades, whether you just want to make sure you pass your classes or you’re hoping to get the highest grade possible, there are some tried and true test taking strategies that can help. Try these five test taking tips to boost your grade on your next exam!

1. Take your time to prepare

Cramming last minute always sounds like a good idea until you actually sit down to take the exam. Then, everything you tried to force into your brain seems to leak out and you may find yourself forgetting the answers to even some of the easiest questions. Taking your time to prepare for your exam over a longer period is actually the best way to go to ensure you remember what you’re studying. Some ways you can prepare ahead of time for an exam include

  • Reviewing your notes daily. Take some time each day to review the notes from the class you’re planning on taking an exam in. By reviewing them each day, you can make sure you retain what you learned.
  • Breaking up your reading into small sections. Don’t try to reread entire chapters or several pages all at once! Instead, by breaking up your reading into smaller sections each day ahead of the test, you can make sure you’re not overwhelmed.
  • Studying a little bit each day leading up to the exam. Whether you have five minutes or an hour each day, use that extra time to get in a little studying leading up to the day you’re planning to take your test.
  • Organizing your notes. Your regular exams are open book so that means you’re allowed to reference your notes and study materials if you’re stuck on a question. Organize your notes so they’re easier to skim on test day!

The benefit of taking online classes with Ashworth is that you don’t have set exam dates, so you can take as much time as you need to study and prepare for your test beforehand!

2. Take your time reading test questions

Your course exams are timed at Ashworth, but you have 180 minutes to complete your test, giving you plenty of time to carefully read each question and decide how best to answer! Reading each test question carefully can be essential to helping you not only understand what’s being asked, but to avoid silly mistakes.

3. Minimize distractions while taking a test

Since you’re taking your exams at home, you’re more likely to run into distractions that can prevent you from fully focusing on your test. When you’re ready to take a test, make sure to let your family or roommates know so you aren’t disturbed. You’ll also want to have a dedicated space to take your exams so you’re not trying to concentrate at the kitchen table or in a room people come in and out of regularly.

4. Answer every test question

By leaving a test question unanswered, you’re making sure you don’t get any points for that question. Even if you aren’t sure what the right answer is, marking down an answer improves your chances of getting some points! When you’re taking a test, answer the questions you’re confident about first, then go back to answer the ones you don’t know.

5. Carefully review your answers before submitting your test

Take the time to review your answers for each question before you click “submit” on your exam. Even if you’re confident in your answers, reviewing them can help you catch any mistakes or issues, helping you to potentially achieve a better grade.

Don’t stress if you fail an exam

If you use all of these tips and still fail your test or get a lower grade than you were hoping for, that’s okay! It’s not over! With Ashworth, you’re able to retake your exams once, giving you an opportunity to improve your score. If you do plan to retake an exam, make sure you take the time to study again, focusing on the questions and topics that may have tripped you up the first time around. And don’t forget: your instructors are here to help! If you did less than perfect on an exam and want to go over it before retaking the test, reach out to your instructors through your Student Portal.

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