How to Get Good Marks in a Test

Three Parts:LearningRevisingAt the time of the test

Tests occur at school, in the workplace and even as part of your participation in activities where moving to another grade, scale or rating is required. Doing well in a test is a combination of knowing the information and actions required, practicing and keeping yourself calm and in good form.

Part 1

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    Keep up with what you're learning. Whether it's schoolwork, martial arts moves or regulatory procedures at work, stay on top of the learning. If there are things that you don't understand at the time, either ask the tutor/teacher/supervisor or do research to find the answer. The longer that you leave things without understanding them, the harder it gets to prepare yourself and to move onto the next stage of learning, and the harder test preparation becomes.
    • Ask questions to solidify your understanding.
    • Have others help you where needed.
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    Set up a schedule for reviewing your learning. Once you've grasped what you're learning to the full extent possible for your level, work on it. Practice whatever can be practiced, whether it be through homework, active participation, setting up experiments, exercising, etc.
    • Where possible, review the work regularly, even daily. A regular practice of what you're learning helps it to sink in and become a part of your deeper understanding.
    • Use a diary or schedule to help you to remember to review your learning.

Part 2

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    Revise on time. Do not leave revision until the last minute. This is known as cramming and the end result is a head filled with the knowledge without depth of comprehension and usually a lot of stress added in. Set up a revision schedule that gives you sufficient time ahead of the test to go over the materials, to practice any practical elements of the learning and to have self-testing included. There is no magic formula of how much time is sufficient time, as that depends on the type of test you're undertaking, the way in which you learn and the amount of warning you've had that the test is happening. The key thing is to not do it in the hours or night before the test is due to occur!
    • Place the revision times onto a calendar, in a diary or schedule or using digital reminder notes. Stick to these once you determine them.
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    Use your notes and review methods to help you to revise for the test. There are many possible revision methods available, including flashcards, color coding, doing old tests, having others test you, physical practice, etc. You'll need to decide on what works best for you; in many cases, it's a combination of approaches. Put these into place, and use the notes you've taken during learning and reviewing to help guide you to key points or aspects of the learning that the tutor or teacher has clarified are vital to a thorough understanding. These indications from the tutor or teacher are guidance for you to heed.
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    Go over any area of knowledge where you feel weak or inadequate. These are the areas that will produce the most stress for you when taking the test, so spend more time on improving these areas, to increase your confidence.

Part 3
At the time of the test

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    Ensure that you've had sufficient rest. Get plenty of sleep the night before and eat healthily on the day of the test. There are other things to consider, such as avoiding last minute stress chats with friends or scaring each other with the things you've forgotten to learn. That sort of talk is pointless and simply fuels feeling nervous.
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    Be punctual. Turn up at least five minutes before the test, if possible. Settle in at your desk, workbench, exercise mat, or whatever it is, so that you feel comfortable and ready. If tools are needed, set them out in front of you or wherever they are supposed to be. By being punctual, you give yourself the time to set up, stay calm and deal with any last-minute hitches, such as room changes or deliberately changed situations to force you to think harder.
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    Read or listen to the test instructions carefully. It can be easy to assume you already know what is expected of you or to feel so nervous that you fail to digest what it expected. However, this part of a test is very important, as the assessors may have made changes, they may have purposefully shaken things up to really test you or they may have made some corrections that weren't known about earlier. So be alert.
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    Focus. Once it is time for testing, focus on what is expected of you. If it's words or numbers on a page, go into the zone of those things. If it's a particular pose or action, place yourself in position readiness. Clear your mind, and remind yourself that you know what to do, what to write, what to calculate. You have prepared and you are ready.
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    Do the test. This is the moment you prepared for. Don't let yourself down––you are as ready as you'll ever be now that you're at this point in time. Do your best and some. Keep your thinking faculties fully switched on; if you forget something, use lateral thinking to gather meaning from around you, from what the test has given you and draw together something that will meet the requirements sufficiently. There is no need to panic at all, you know more than you are allowing yourself to think.
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    Complete the test. It's now out of your hands. Avoid dissecting the test with others who undertook the same test; it's okay to talk about your relief and hopes for it but pulling the test apart will only leave you feeling anxious and every person goes about answering, solving and doing things in their own way. Congratulate yourself on having been so prepared, calm and composed.
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    Await those good test results. If you've put in the work, stay focused and approached the test methodically and calmly, the results will reflect your input.
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Categories: Tests and Exams