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Test Taking Strategies

You've studied for hours for your upcoming exam. The day is here to transfer your knowledge on the subject to paper. Stress and anxiety set in and confidence is lost. Regardless of the time spent in preparation, many students with ADHD have difficulty when it comes time to take the exam. It's disappointing when the test grade doesn't reflect the effort that has gone into preparation. Anxiety often accompanies ADHD which can cause students to forget much of what they have studied. To prepare for exams, take a look at the recommended study tips. Then, read over the test taking tips below. You may want to print a copy and place in your binder to look over just before you take the test. Good luck on your exams!

Read instructions twice! Read once, circle or underline words that will help you attend to the details. Look over the exam and read instructions again.

Pace yourself! As soon as you get the exam, take a look at it front to back. Allot a segment of time to spend on each question or section based upon the time given for completion. The key is to not get stuck on an answer! Keep moving!

Answer the easiest questions first! Skip test questions that take more time or mental energy. Place a small mark next to the skipped questions so you don't inadvertently leave them unanswered.

Write pneumonic tricks (See Study Tips) and formulas you've memorized in a blank area off to the side. Do this when you receive the exam while your brain is less fatigued.

Write a brief outline for essay questions. Just putting a few words on paper can start the ball rolling.

Cramming and all-nighters are common in college but not conducive to good test taking! Plan to sleep a full night prior to taking the test.

Don't roll out of bed right before test time! Get up plenty early to fully wake up. Do some aerobic exercise before taking the test or walk briskly to class. This helps your brain wake up and also helps with focus during test time.

Fuel your brain! Eat protein and eliminate sugar and caffeine intake before the test. Caffeine and sugar can increase test anxiety.

If you have a 504 or IEP Plan, use your accommodations such as asking for a longer time to complete the test or test in an area with fewer distractions.

Leave time at the end to review your answers and catch careless mistakes.

Take your medication so it will be fully effective during the exam from start to finish.

Do you have additional test taking strategies that have worked for you? Please share in comment box below.

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