How to Study for a Math Test – The Complete Guide

math15Every subject has its own particular way. Math is mostly numerical, not verbal and  requires logical thinking; it has its own way to be studied. Before touching on significant points of studying a math test, lets look at some of the  fundamentals of “learning.”

Learning is not an instant experience; it is a procedure.  Learning is a process not an event.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and learning anything (or everything) isn’t going to happen in a day either.  You cannot expect to learn everything in one day, at night, before the test. It is important and necessary to learn day-by-day. Good time management plays a considerable role in learning. When you manage your time, and begin test preparation well in advance, you will notice the subjects are easier than you thought, or feared,  and you will take the test without the stress of a sleepless body and an anxious mind.

Tips on preparing a study schedule
Managing your study time

Continue reading “How to Study for a Math Test – The Complete Guide” »

Types of Exams

exam paperTypes of Exams

Before beginning any exam there are steps you can take to help your self succeed. Make sure you are as relaxed as possible. Next make sure you are sitting the right exam and have been given the proper paper. Once you have established that you are in fact taking the correct exam, be sure to read all the instructions carefully. Often these instructions involve key terms.Other ways to ensure your success also vary by exam type.

Continue reading “Types of Exams” »

How to Take an Oral Exam

How to Take an Oral Exam

For many students, the experience of taking an oral exam is one that is very different to taking a written exam, although you may find that preparation for an oral exam is similar to a written exam.

Oral Exams are a standard feature of English as a Second Language Exams   In addition, several other standardized tests such as the NNAAP have an oral component.  The Canadian Citizenship test also has an oral component. Continue reading “How to Take an Oral Exam” »

What to Do When You Fail a Test

What to Do When You Fail a Test

Once, when I was a college instructor, a student came to me and asked me what he should do when he fails a test.  In other words, is there anything he can do to use that experience to propel him to better performance in the future?  I thought about the question, and several not-so-helpful responses came to mind.  On the next test, if he thinks he’s going to fail, he could: Continue reading “What to Do When You Fail a Test” »

Cheating on a Test – Not such a Good Strategy

The Complete Guide to Cheating on a Test

So, you have a test rapidly approaching and you a) didn’t study or b) don’t want to study, and that’s when you decide to cheat. You’ve seen it done in the movies, in books, and even real life, which means it can’t be that hard. It seems simple enough, right? That’s where you are wrong. While a select few students manage to pull off cheating without getting caught, the same cannot be said for the majority.

Most get Caught Cheating

Cheating, expressly at a collegiate level, is not taken lightly. Instead of just failing the one test or essay you were so worried about, you could end up failing the whole course, which is a little more serious. Aside from automatically failing the class, you could face suspension. This means a semester or even a full academic year being pulled out of school, which would delay your graduation time significantly. Cheating can also be marked on your transcript, so that future schools, scholarship donors, academic programs, and employers will be able to see.

While you may think you are outsmarting your educator, it is evident when the work doesn’t match up with the student. Your instructors become familiar with your writing and work, so when you are suddenly producing doctorate level work, they will know something is up.

In addition to personal detection, there is advanced and readily available technology to aid teachers and professors, allowing them to detect plagiarism at the touch of a button. Their computers will have software installed that allows them to run your work against other students in your school and the world. This ensures that you are not copying from your peers or paying a website to do the work.

Checking for Plagiarism is Easy

Another type of cheating, which most students don’t even consider, is self-plagiarism. Using work that you’ve submitted for another course in the past counts as cheating. It may sound ridiculous since it’s your own work, but you will get caught and suffer the same consequences as plagiarizing. If you feel that your work is overlapping with something else you’ve turned in, check with your professor, so you can avoid getting in trouble.

There are numerous websites that provide very cheap or even free plagiarism checkers, so you can make sure that you don’t end up in a conversation about cheating with your professor. You should always run your work through these just to ensure that the work is 100% original and your own.

In addition,  a testing center at the University of Central Florida shows different ways it combats cheating, while students sharing informaton online is very popular.

The New Frontier in Cheating

The frontier in the battle to defeat student cheating may be at the testing center of the University of Central Florida, where numerous tests are administered, including the ACT, TEAS and others.

As technology advances so do ways around it in an ‘arms race’ and cheating is no different.   Generally we do not recommend cheating as a Test Preparation Strategy Another way of cheating is sharing information online, which is more nebulous.

Whether you think cheating is a good idea or not, you may want to consider what you are up against.

No gum is allowed during an exam: chewing could disguise a student’s speaking into a hands-free cell phone to an accomplice outside.

The 228 computers that students use  are recessed into desk tops so that anyone trying to photograph the screen using, say, a pen with a hidden camera, in order to help a friend who will take the test later is easy to spot.

Scratch paper is allowed but it is stamped with the date and must be turned in later.

When a proctor sees something suspicious, he records the student’s real-time work at the computer and directs an overhead camera to zoom in, and both sets of images are burned onto a CD for evidence.

Students Sharing Information About Courses, Exams Online

A shared-information academic site is one, which gives students information about college professors and their courses.  They are controversial because some educators worry that the information that students share might sometimes cross over the boundary into cheating.  More about Cheating as a Test Prep Strategy

These information-share sites provide information on a college’s professors and courses, along with details of what the professor normally expects the student to know from the material.  Students are encouraged to upload their own class notes, and even quizzes and exams.  They also buy and sell textbooks.

Students, and even many professors, defend the sites, saying this is just the 21st century equivalent of students comparing their class notes among themselves.  Other professors are a bit more hesitant, pointing out that students are sharing exams and quizzes with one another.  However, the websites themselves point out that the only exams permitted are old exams that are not currently used in the course.  Studying old exams is one of the best study methods.  Administrators say they do their research first to make sure that no current exam questions make it to their sites. They say that every new college that they service, they find out what the school’s honor code is and work hard to conform with that code.

The critics, though, point out that sometimes instructors use the same exams year after year.

Of course, the old-faithful among college student sites remains Facebook.  Currently, it’s estimated that an astonishing 85% of college and university students use Facebook actively.  And there are more than 1,500 groups on Facebook devoted to the specific purpose of studying for various college classes.  However, Facebook does not currently make it easy to share exam questions among its members.

Bottom line:  What should your approach be to using these resources for test preparation?  It’s an ethical call, but few people see any problem with sharing notes or even with sharing previous tests that are no longer in use.  More discussion of the Ethics here from NPR.  For tests that are still being actively used, though, it’s a different matter.  Some might say it’s no different than handing a physical copy of this year’s exam to another student.

At the end of the day, while cheating may seem like a quick and easy way to pass a test or get through an essay; the repercussions for getting caught are so severe, that it would be better to cram for your exam or paper instead.


Whats the Difference Between a Quiz, Test, and Exam?

test quizWhats the Difference Between a Quiz, Test, and Exam?

You’re in school, it’s close to Christmas, and on the same day, one instructor tells you there’s a quiz coming, a second says there’s a test next week, while a third tells you to prepare for the upcoming exam. ARRRGH! A quiz, a test, and an exam, all coming soon. But what’s the difference? Are they all the same thing, are they different, and which is more important to your grade point average? Continue reading “Whats the Difference Between a Quiz, Test, and Exam?” »

Hiring a Test Prep Tutor

Hiring a Test Prep Tutor


We usually think of hiring a tutor when someone is just generally doing badly in a subject, and needs someone to show him how to improve in that course. However, more and more students, especially college students and high school students, are hiring test-preparation tutors. This is someone they hire, either on a short-term basis to help prepare for one major test, like a High School Test, or College Entrance Exam, or someone that they hire intermittently, whenever there’s a test, to assist them with the study process. Should you hire a test-prep tutor? Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you feel like you understand the material but are just bad at taking tests, then a test-prep tutor might be for you. Here’s how to find and hire one. Continue reading “Hiring a Test Prep Tutor” »

Myths About Exams

Myths About Exams

Everybody knows what’s involved in studying for exams, right? Well–maybe not. In fact, there are several myths that many people believe are true, but which actually do little or nothing to enhance the studying process. Chances are good that you’ve bought into one or more of these myths. Let’s take a look at some of the more common myths, and discuss what the truth is.

MYTH #1: I should study absolutely everything that’s in the textbook or that was discussed by the instructor.

The truth: Only a small portion of the material is included on any test. The key, then, is to figure out what was important enough that it will be included on the test. So how do you do this? You learn to pick up on certain clues. Continue reading “Myths About Exams” »

Test Preparation Tips for the ISEE or SSAT

private schoolTest Preparation Tips for the ISEE or SSAT

Before you’ll be allowed to enroll your child in one of the better private academies, whether a boarding or non-residential school, it’s likely that the child will have to show that he or she can handle the work. They show this by taking and successfully passing a standardized test. For residential schools, this will likely be the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT), and for non-residential academies, it will probably be the Independent School Entrance Exams (ISEE). Either way, there are some steps that you and the child can take together to make sure that they do their best. Continue reading “Test Preparation Tips for the ISEE or SSAT” »