Studying for Success: Dealing with a Math Test Study Guide
Introduction to Studying for Success: Dealing with a Math Test
Dealing effectively with a math test requires dedicated test preparation and the development of appropriate test-taking strategies. If you've gotten this far, your test preparation is well on its way. There are just a few more things you need to know about being prepared for a math test. This appendix also equips you with some basic test-taking strategies to use on test day.
"Be prepared!" isn't just the motto of the Boy Scouts. It should be the motto for anyone taking a test.
Familiarize Yourself with the Test and Practice for It
If sample tests are available, practice them under strictly timed conditions, simulating the actual testing conditions as closely as possible. This kind of practice will help you pace yourself better during the actual test. Read and understand all the test directions in advance so you won't waste time reading them during the test. Then, evaluate your practice test results with someone who really understands math. Review the relevant sections of this book to reinforce any concepts you're still having trouble with.
Set a Target Score
Find out what score you need to pass the test and how many questions you'll need to get right to achieve that score. During your practice sessions and the actual test, focus on this target score to keep you moving and concentrating on one question at a time.
The first set of test–taking tips works for almost any test, whatever the subject. These general strategies are followed by some specific hints on how to approach a math test. The basic idea is to use your time wisely to avoid making careless errors.
Preview the Test
Before you actually begin the test, take a little time to survey it, noting the number of questions, their organization, and the type of questions that look easier than the rest. Mark the halfway point in the test and note what time it should be when you get there.
The most important time-management strategy is pacing yourself. Pacing yourself doesn't just mean how quickly you can go through the test. It means knowing how the test is organized and the number of questions you have to get right, as well as making sure you have enough time to do them. It also means completely focusing your attention on the question you're answering, blocking out any thoughts about questions you've already read or concerns about what's coming next.
Develop a Positive Attitude
Keep reminding yourself that you're prepared. The fact that you're reading this book means that you're better prepared than other test takers. Remember, it's only a test, and you're going to do your best. That's all you can ask of yourself. If that nagging voice in your head starts sending negative messages, combat them with positive ones of your own, such as:
- "I'm doing just great!"
- "I know exactly what to do with fractions, percents, and decimals!"
- "Wow! I just got another question right!"
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