A look at the model
Metacognition: The key
Anxiety reduction tips
The research basis for
the strategies, tips, and techniques presented
Frequently asked questions
Frustration can occur when you have studied well, learned and practiced
the new information, and were unable to show that you knew the information
(whether on a test, class discussion, or a presentation). This section
on performance will provide strategies which include test-taking, anxiety
reduction, and other performance-based strategies.
Strategies (numbered, but not sequential):
Try one or more and assess each one's effectiveness for you.
Before the test:
- If have information committed to memory that you are concerned about
forgetting, practice doing a memory dump to
prepare for your test.
- Sometime shortly before your test, review your vocabulary cards, study-reading
questions, notes, and any other appropriate pieces of information.
- Anticipate and practice possible test questions.
- If anxiety is an issue, practice and get proficient at at least one
anxiety reduction technique.
During the test:
- Do a memory dump first.
- If test-anxiety is an issue, use an anxiety reduction
technique. The "Plug in the big toe" is a quick and easy
technique to use as many times as needed during the test to produce
a relaxation response.
- Survey the test for types of questions, number of questions, and time
allotted. Quickly assess how to spend the time given. Allot a few minutes
to review the whole test afterwards, before turning it in.
- Answer the easy questions first, skip difficult or unknown initially.
Sometimes clues or connections to some questions may be incorporated
into other questions.
- If you are guessing at an answer, go with your first guess (some people
may make subconscious connections). If it is a guess, don't change your
first choice unless you can state why it should be changed.
- Gauge your time. On most tests, it does not hurt you to guess at an
- On multiple choice questions:
On true/false tests, you only need to find one false portion to make
On matching sections:
- repeated parts in answers may give you some clues to the answer.
- the longest and most detailed answer is frequently the best.
- try to eliminate some obviously wrong answers (thus making a choice
easier and a guess more likely to be right).
- focus on the critical point of the question and don't be distracted
by superfluous information.
Before turning the test in, take a few minutes to review the test,
making sure all questions are answered. Don't make any changes unless
you know why you are making a change.
- See if there is a one-to-one correspondence between word and phrase/definition.
- Answer the ones you know, which eliminates some of the choices to
make better guesses on the last few
- Often clues for matching may be found in other types of questions,
and vice versa
Following the test/exam:
- After turning the test in, take a few minutes to write down areas
you were unsure of that you want to check. If you can remember any questions
you guessed on, you may want to jot them down.
- Assess how well you predicted the test questions. Where did most of
the questions come from (lecture, text, assignments)?
- What worked well for you? What should you consider doing differently
- Try to incorporate any identified changes into your new routine.
Performance is the opportunity for you to apply the new information you
learned. You may be asked to repeat learned information, infer how to
use it, or apply it in a new way. Performance is the most difficult because
it builds on how effectively you were motivated to learn, how well you
understood the new information, how much you practiced it, and finally,
how well you have made it yours so that you can apply it in a new setting.
Being metacognitively aware of your needs at each step and consciously
deciding how you can effectively learn the new information can greatly
enhance your success in learning new information, retaining, and showing
you have learned the new information. You now have some tools to use at
your discretion. Good Luck!
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