Postal Worker Test Preparation: Test Taking Strategies for Test 473 (page 2)
General Test-Taking Strategies
Later in this book, you’ll learn specific techniques and tips for each part of Test 473. Right now, however, let’s take a look at some basic strategies that apply to most or all parts of the test.
Avoid Random Guesswork in Parts A, C, and D
On Parts A and C, 1/3 point is deducted for every incorrect answer. However, no deduction is made for unanswered questions. So, there’s no advantage to making a random guess on any question in these two parts of the exam. For every question, try to at least narrow down the choices to improve your odds of a correct answer. If you’re running out of time, leave the questions you don’t have time for blank.
This same strategy also applies to Part D, Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory. Even though the scoring system for Part D is unknown, you should assume that you will be penalized for answers that the test makers determine are “incorrect.” So, if you run out of time before considering all 236 questions in Part D, just leave the remaining questions blank.
Consider Random Guesswork for Part B—but Only If You’re Running Out of Time
You won’t be penalized for incorrect answers in Part B, Forms Completion. In other words, in calculating your score for Part B, the test makers make no point deduction for any wrong answers. Therefore, during this part, if you haven’t attempted all the questions and you are about to run out of time, by all means take random guesses at the remaining questions—the ones that you don’t have time to consider. On your answer sheet, quickly fill in the blanks for those questions before the time allowed expires. Also, go back and fill in a bubble for every question you skipped without marking an answer on the answer sheet.
Don’t Be Afraid to Mark Up Your Test Booklet
During the exam, you’re allowed to write in your test booklet as much as you want to. In fact, just before the timed test commences, the exam supervisor will inform you and your fellow test takers that you can do so. However, nothing that you write in your test booklet will be considered in scoring your exam. All that matters to the test makers is how you’ve marked your answer sheet. In fact, after the exam session, the test makers will simply shred the test booklets.
You’ll learn later in this book that making the right kind of marks in your test booklet can improve your accuracy and your speed during the exam. As you attempt the practice drills and tests in this book, learn to be comfortable using your pencil to mark up the pages that contain the test questions.
Develop a System for Marking Your Answer Sheet
Test 473 contains many, many questions—a grand total of 398—which means that there are a whole lot of bubbles to fill in on your answer sheet. Try imagining yourself shifting your attention away from your test booklet and to your answer sheet after answering each and every question, locating the line of bubbles that corresponds to the particular question you just answered, filling in the bubble, and then returning your attention to the test booklet. Now, imagine doing that 398 times during the course of the exam! You would waste a lot of time going back and forth between the booklet and the answer sheet, precious time that you could put to far better use actually working on the questions. More importantly, as you’ll learn later in this book, it pays to focus your uninterrupted attention on the questions as much as possible.
So, rather than constantly bouncing back and forth between the test booklet and your answer sheet, mark your answers to groups of perhaps 10 or 15 questions directly in your test booklet by simply circling your letter choice (A, B, C, or D) for each one. Then, after making your selections for all questions in the group, go to the answer sheet and fill in the corresponding bubbles for that group.
However, do not take this strategy to its extreme and wait until you have selected your choices for all the questions in an entire part of the test before filling in the answer sheet for that part. Why not? Well, think about it. Following this strategy would spell disaster if you happened to run out of time before you were able to fill in all the bubbles on your answer sheet. Remember, the test makers won’t give you any credit for marking the correct answers in your test booklet. All that matters is how you’ve marked your answer sheet.
Pace Yourself Properly, So That You Have Time to Check Your Answers
This book contains ample practice drills and tests to allow you to determine your optimal pace, the pace that allows you to consider each and every question while leaving enough time to go back and check your answers. Use the following guidelines as a starting point in finding your proper pace.
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