Effective Test Taking Strategies to use before an Examination for Students

Taking a test can be quite overwhelming at times and this can lead to making a lot of mistakes in the exam and missing out on important questions. Students need to know how to best prepare for thor exams and also be able to be calm before the exam. Students could have prepared months and weeks for this exam but when the day finally comes and you don’t handle it well everything will go waste. For a lot of students who are extremely anxious about the exam will go through the worst if they don’t prepare themselves properly to cope with the various surprises, pressure anxiety, and many other things which we can’t expect.

Students need to prepare for the worst that can happen in an exam scenario and be prepared mentally before the exam.

Gather Information Regarding Basic English Skills and become proficient in the language and speak fluently with confidence. Try the Tips over here and Improve your English Writing and Speaking Skills.

Different Strategies to use before an Examination

There are several ways to cope with our anxiety before our exam and these can help us not just before taking an examination but in other difficult things we might face during our life. Physical exercise has proven to help with anxiety, concentration, and general mood; and even a small exercise session has proven to be highly beneficial.It is important that students know how to find some sort of inner peace so that they don’t carry the pressure they feel to the exam. There are various steps to take before, during, and after the exam and these are as follows-

Get a good nights sleep

Effective Test Taking Strategies

Get a good night’s sleep

Students who study last minute are more prone to sleeping late or they usually pull an all-nighter and this is a very bad habit because it affects your attention and concentration span thereby making it hard to focus during the exam. By not getting a good night’s sleep it will be hard to remember things as well during the exam and this just means all the hard work goes down the drain.

Some students think they can overcome all this because they have been doing it for years but the truth is that it’s a very bad habit and it can affect your health in a lot of ways. The reality is if you don’t get a decent amount of sleep you won’t be able to recall much during the exam, it’s as simple as that. A healthy amount of sleep would be around 8 hours, and this can be achieved with organized planning around your examinations so you get that full 8 hours of sleep.


This is one of the key factors that have also been proven to help students during exams. A small exercise session can also go a long way. When you exercise you release endorphins and this can help relax the mind after a rigorous study session. Students make the mistake of thinking they don’t have enough time to exercise during their preparation of the exams but this is a big mistake.

Just 30 mins of exercise can help you concentrate better and make you more alert as well. There are various ways to go about this and create a more inclusive workout. Doing High interval training for about 15 mins has the same effect as 30 mins of cardio like running or walking. Think of daily exercise as just another way to help you score better marks.

Drink plenty of water

Students forget to drink water when they prepare for their exams just like how they don’t eat properly. Drinking water is not just to hydrate your body but also to hydrate your brain so that you can work more efficiently. By not drinking enough water you can become fatigued and lose the sense of things sometimes.

People who complain of headaches during preparation times mostly are dehydrated because they forget to drink water when studying. Drinking water can also help you stay up late and can be used to substitute caffeine. Try sipping water every 15 mins so that you are hydrated, if you are scared you will forget to set a reminder every hour so you don’t forget.

Eat a nutritious Breakfast

Try eating a healthy breakfast before your exam so that you have enough energy throughout the day. They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and we must not forget that, especially during our examinations. A wholesome nutritious meal can go a long way and help us a lot during the exam.

When we don’t eat properly during our exams we might feel more distracted during the exam like stomach pain or hunger, so to avoid all this we must eat properly. Try not eating too much so that you are full because then you can also become slightly drowsy during the exam. Also, make sure you eat food you are comfortable and familiar with so that there are no surprises later.

Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine provides a short-term rush of feeling good but once it wears off it can have unfavorable effects on us. Caffeine drinks like coffee and energy drinks provide us the energy to stay alert only for a short while and we must consume more of it to stay that alert. Usually, students drink it to stay up and finish studying for their exams. These drinks are considered diuretic which means it makes us urinate much more and we lose more water thereby making us dehydrated and wanting more of it.

Caffeine-induced drinks and coffee have also proven to create more stress because it drives the adrenal glands to cause more stress hormones thereby making students more anxious than before. You should try just substituting it with water and apple has also been proven to be helpful in staying awake, these are options that are more healthy and will help you sustain in the long run.

During the exam

When you start your exam make sure you read all the questions. Start with the questions you feel most comfortable with so that you will feel more confident as you go about your exam. Students have also been seen to start with the larger and more hard questions so that they can finish the complex questions first and leave the more easier ones for last. At the end of the day, it is your choice and doing the exam with how you feel is the best way to go about the exam. There are different ways to start the exam but the best method is what you have been practicing so far.

Go straight home after the exam

One of the most common things that students do after their examination is to stay and discuss answers among their friends. This is very unhealthy as you are prone to become anxious of what you have written and overthink your total marks. It is best to finish your examination and go straight to your bus or go home. The saying “what is done, is done “ applies here and there is nothing you can do to change that. You can’t change your answers after knowing the right ones so it’s best to leave things how they were. So the best thing to do is not to meet your friends after the exam and just go straight home. If you have any further doubts about the exam just go and ask your teacher when they give your papers back after correction or when the results come out.

Take a few  long breaths during your examination

Students who have problems with anxiety can have this whole examination experience as very overwhelming and this can be solved by just a few deep breaths. Taking in a few deep breaths during your examinations can be like meditating as it is very relaxing if you do it right. Before you start your paper just close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Also, when you feel stuck do the same exercise and continue you with the paper. If you can’t figure out the answer to a question just remember that it isn’t the end of the world and you can just skip it and come back to it later if required.

Review your answers after finishing the paper

When you first receive your questions paper try and create a time limit for each question in your head. This will allow you to finish your paper in a more organized manner. By planning each question will give you some time in between so every hour try and take a min break so you can relax and center yourself. By reviewing your answers in the end you can correct any mistakes you made and also change the answers if you aren’t satisfied.


Students need to keep in mind that at the end of the day it’s just an exam and not the end of the world. The strategies provided in this article will be highly beneficial for students as the sources these methods are taken from are reliable, genuine, and have been proven to work. Students need to enforce all these methods so that they can get the best grades.

Leave a Comment