How to Prepare for a Statistics Test Study Guide
Introduction to How to Prepare for a Statistics Test
A standardized test is nothing to fear. Many people clutch and worry about a testing situation, but you're much better off taking that nervous energy and turning it into something positive that will help you do well on your test rather than inhibit your testing ability. The following pages include valuable tips for combating test anxiety, that sinking or blank feeling some people get as they begin a test or encounter a difficult question. Next, you will find valuable tips for using your time wisely and for avoiding errors in a testing situation. Finally, you will find a plan for preparing for the test, a plan for the test day, and a suggestion for an after-test activity.
Combating Test Anxiety
Knowing what to expect and being prepared for it is the best defense against test anxiety, that worrisome feeling that keeps you from doing your best. Practice and preparation keeps you from succumbing to that feeling. Nevertheless, even the brightest, most well-prepared test takers may suffer from occasional bouts of test anxiety. But don't worry; you can overcome it.
Strategies for Before and During the Test
Take the Test One Question at a Time
Focus all of your attention on the one question you're answering. Block out any thoughts about questions you've already read or concerns about what's coming next. Concentrate your thinking where it will do the most good—on the question you're answering.
Develop a Positive Attitude
Keep reminding yourself that you're prepared. You've studied hard, so you're probably better prepared than most others who are taking the test. Remember, it's only a test, and you're going to do your best. That's all anyone can ask of you. If that nagging drill sergeant inside your head starts sending negative messages, combat him or her with positive ones of your own.
- "I'm doing just fine."
- "I've prepared for this test."
- "I know exactly what to do."
- "I know I can get the score I'm shooting for."
You get the idea. Remember to drown out negative messages with positive ones of your own.
If You Lose Your Concentration
Don't worry about it! It's normal. During a long test, it happens to everyone. When your mind is stressed or overexerted, it takes a break whether you want it to or not. It's easy to get your concentration back if you simply acknowledge the fact that you've lost it and take a quick break. Your brain needs very little time (seconds really) to rest.
Put your pencil down and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and listen to the sound of your breathing. The ten seconds or so that this takes is really all the time your brain needs to relax and get ready to focus again.
Try this technique several times in the days before the test when you feel stressed. The more you practice, the better it will work for you on the day of the test.
If You Freeze before or during the Test
Don't worry about a question that stumps you even though you're sure you know the answer. Mark it and go on to the next question. You can come back to the stumper later. Try to put it out of your mind completely until you come back to it. Just let your subconscious chew on the question while your conscious mind focuses on the other items (one at a time, of course). Chances are, the memory block will be gone by the time you return to the question.
If you freeze before you begin the test, here's what to do:
- Take a little time to look over the test.
- Read a few of the questions.
- Decide which ones are the easiest and start there.
- Before long, you'll be "in the groove."
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