Test-taking strategies & tips

Practicing test-taking strategies can help your student in tutoring and in school, as well as reducing anxiety around testing.

  • Read directions carefully before starting each section or question. Make sure you understand what is being asked of you before you try to answer.
  • Stay focused. Find a quiet, comfortable place to work where you can concentrate fully on the assessment. If something distracting happens, ask if you can pause the assessment.
  • Take your time. Re-read the directions, a passage, or the answer choices when you need to.
  • Stay calm. If you get to a difficult question or feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath. Try to stay calm and remember that as long as you are doing your best, you are doing great!
  • Form your own answer before looking at the answer choices. If one of the options matches your answer, select it, and move on!
  • Eliminate answer choices. If you’re unsure of an answer, try to eliminate any obviously wrong answer choices, then focus on choosing from the ones that are left.
  • For reading comprehension questions:
    • Read the question first, then read the passage. This way you know what information to look for in the passage!
    • Use context clues. Look for hints, keywords, and supporting details to guide you towards the right answers.
  • For math questions:
    • Use scratch paper. Jot down notes, calculations, or brainstorm ideas before answering questions.