I know every student had this experience: You take the exam. Then you receive your paper and wondered, “What on earth happened?!” You were confident that you know the answers but the results showed otherwise.
In probably one of your multiple choice tests, you were very sure of your answers. However, when the test paper was returned to you, you just found out that you chose the wrong answers. There were only four choices per item but you encircled the incorrect ones. And the sad thing about it is that you know what the right answers were.
Bummer, right? Especially if you make this mistake on your college entrance test.
Students have this habit of what they want to see especially in a high-pressured activity like taking an exam. That’s why even if you’ve understood the question, make sure you have read the question properly.
Tips on How to Understand Questions Properly
Sometimes it gets frustrating that you studied a lot of materials during your review but the topics that you studied did not appear on the test. So, it is very crucial to keep your focus for every question. To help you thoroughly to absorb what exactly the question is asking about, here are some tips that you can put to practice.
- Underline/encircle the key word or words to help you remember.
If allowed on the questionnaire, put marks on key words to help you stay focused on the important things. (In the UPCAT, you are not allowed to put marks on the test questionnaires so I advise you use your scratch papers in remembering the keywords.)
- Keep calm and do relaxed breathing.
The pressure during exam can lead you to commit classic mistakes that will cause you stress by carefully reading each question and by staying calm.
- Answer the easy questions first.
During an exam, if you have identified some questions which you think you can answer easily and quickly, then do them first. Have that routine to go through your test paper and get as much as many marks as you can from the questions you find easy to answer and try to sort out the difficult ones later. By doing this you will be extra confident that you will be able to get through the rest of the test because you are so sure that the answers will give you correct marks.
- Preview and rephrase the question.
This technique is great for difficult to understand questions. Get the central idea and use synonyms, context clues and other rephrasing techniques to easily understand the question.
- Read each question properly in several times.
This will give you a clear understanding as to what is being asked for.
Have Your Own System
In your college entrance exam, it is wise that you make a plan on how to read questions effectively so you don’t have to stop and figure out what’s the correct answer. Have your own system beforehand. A plan can help you diligently approach well each question. And on test day, DO NOT PANIC! Remember the second tip to stay focused.
Taking college entrance exams has always been challenging. Not only you will have to keep your focus over a certain period, but you must analyze as you read each question properly to help you back up for correct answers. The exam might be a bit intense because some questions are quite tricky but you can learn to avoid classic mistakes if you just know how to read and understand each question properly.
Understanding questions by reading them properly and keep a critical eye will help you identify which answer that fits to the question given. The 37 Proven Tips Workshop will help you better prepare for the test and improve your test-taking skills specifically. The workshop will be able to help you create your own system for test taking. The workshop is part of the UPCAT Success System review program of Review Masters.