Did you know that on average, students spend 10 days taking district-mandated exams and 9 days taking state-mandated exams? That’s a scary statistic right? What’s even worse is this statistic doesn’t take into account Advanced Placement exams or exams given by individual teachers. With this never-ending amount of testing, every student should know these helpful test taking strategies to make test day better overall.
Go with your gut
If you come across a question and you’re not 100% sure of your answer, choose the answer that you originally thought was correct. Humans notice patterns in their past experiences, store this information in long-term memory, retrieve it and when similar patterns are detected, we rely on our instincts to help us make a choice. Always trust your gut instincts on a test.
This phenomenon is because peppermint contains menthol which stimulates the hippocampus (the part of the brain that controls mental clarity and memory), thus the fragrance causes you to wake up and pay more attention.
The science behind this tip is pretty straightforward. If you blindly guess an answer you have either a 20% or 25% chance of guessing correctly depending on the number of answer choices. If you start with 4 or 5 possible answers and eliminate 2 or 3 of them using the process of elimination, common sense, or background knowledge, you’ve successfully increased your chances of getting the question right from 20-25% to a more encouraging percentage. Making an informed guess will likely allow you to get more questions correct and feel better about your test experience.