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Test Preparation Tips Paper

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Short Answer Test Preparation Tips
Most tests contain at least a few short answer questions. The following are
proven study and test preparation strategies that will help improve your
performance on short answer/essay questions and tests.
Study for understanding.
Teachers, professors and instructors typically give short answer and/or
essay tests to see how well students have grasped course concepts, their
meanings and significance. This has both pros and cons with respect to
test preparation and performance. The con is that you can't just just
memorize information and expect to do well on a short answer test you
must understand course material and concepts. The pro is that even if you
can't remember a specific term, as long as you have a general
understanding of the concept in question, you can still develop an answer
that is likely to get you full or partial credit. When preparing for short
answer tests focus on understanding rather than memorization of facts.
Focus on topics and concepts.
As with all types of test questions, the best way to prepare is by studying
and becoming intimately familiar with course content, concepts and
material. During lectures, try to decipher what types of topics and
concepts will be covered on the test by looking for hints provided by the
professor. While it's still important to memorize facts and information, try
and do so within the framework of important topics that are being
explored and concepts that are being taught.
Employ self testing.
Make a guess as to what types of concepts will be covered on a test and
create some practice questions to prepare yourself for the test. If
accessible, study from previous class tests.
Use flashcards.
Many students benefit by creating flashcards. On one side of a card, write
definitions or other facts, and on the opposite side, write the definition.
If in doubt, make an educated guess.
If you are completely unsure about a question, make an educated guess
since there is usually no penalty for doing so. Show your work because
teachers often provide partial credit if work is shown. Make sure the work
you show is accurate.
Answer the easy questions first.
When encountering confusing questions, move on to easier ones. Return to
tackle more challenging questions once you've answered all the questions
for which you know the answer. In some cases, you can decipher clues to
answers for difficult questions from questions you've already answered.
Read all instructions.
It's critical to carefully read instructions for each short answer question.
What exactly is the question asking you? Often short answer questions will
ask you to describe, list, compare, contrast, identify, analyze, summarize,

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or a combination of these. If you describe when you're supposed to
compare, or summarize when you've been instructed to analyze, your test
performance is going to decrease.
Budget your time.
With short answer/essay tests it's easy to lose track of time. At the
beginning of the test check to see how many questions on the test and if
the test is divided up into sections. Make sure to allocate a specific amount
of time per section and per question. You don't want to get halfway
through the test and realize you only have a few minutes left. Some short
answer questions may be worth substantially more than others. Make sure
to allocate time to those questions that are worth the most.
Reread each question.
Always reread the question after answering it. It's not uncommon for a
short answer question to have multiple parts. For example: "Compare and
contrast Frye's and Bartky's accounts of social oppression with respect to
gender inequality. List the differences in their views." Answering only part
of the short answer question will likely result in only partial credit.
Ask for clarification.
If you don't understand a question or find it is a bit confusing, ask your
instructor for clarification. Don't be scared to ask. Chances are there are
several other students who are struggling to understand it as well.
Be thorough. But be concise.
While opinions may differ, most teachers believe a short answer question
typically requires a "short" answer. That doesn't mean an answer lacking
depth analysis or information. It simply means an answer that is concise
and includes just enough information to accurately and fully answer the
question being asked. Typically an answer that's longer than necessary
isn't going to cause you to lose points, as long as your information is
correct. However, if you include incorrect information in your short
answer, you'll likely lose points.
The 6 Basic Types of Short-answer Questions
There are six basic types of short-answer questions. Understanding each will
improve your performance on short-answer quizzes, tests and exams. When
answering short-answer questions, make sure the format and type of answer you
provide matches the type of question being asked.
1. Definition questions.
Definition questions require you to define a concept.
Question: "What is a supply curve?"
Answer: "A supply curve shows the relationship between the price of a
good or service and the quantity supplied. Typically, the price appears on
the left vertical axis and the quality supplied on the horizontal axis."

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Short Answer Test Preparation Tips Most tests contain at least a few short answer questions. The following are proven study and test preparation strategies that will help improve your performance on short answer/essay questions and tests. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Study for understanding. Teachers, professors and instructors typically give short answer and/or essay tests to see how well students have grasped course concepts, their meanings and significance. This has both pros and cons with respect to test preparation and performance. The con is that you can't just just memorize information and expect to do well on a short answer test – you must understand course material and concepts. The pro is that even if you can't remember a specific term, as long as you have a general understanding of the concept in question, you can still develop an answer that is likely to get you full or partial credit. When preparing for short answer tests focus on understanding rather than memorization of facts. Focus on topics and concepts. As with all types of test questions, the best way to prepare is by studying and becoming intimately familiar with course content ...
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Anonymous
Very useful material for studying!

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