One way to succeed on the test

Get off to a good start!
 Bring all essential writing materials (pencils, pens, eraser, white out) and maybe a spare or two
 Eat some chocolate before the test (to release those “thinking endorphins”)
 Be sure to put on your thinking cap before starting the test
 Get a good night sleep (yes, that means NO late night studying)
 Prepare a detailed study sheet (read it over and over again)

Develop a Plan!
 If you know you’re slow, start with the written essay (it’s worth the most marks)
 Do the multiple choice second, scan the questions, read the text, and mark where the answers are.
 If you run out of time, a guess is better than a blank – pick your favourite letter Mark the questions that you want to return too!
 To be efficient, be sure to start with the easier questions, and clearly circle the questions that are a bit more difficult. Return to these questions at the end of the test.
 Once you’ve finished the test, return to those circled questions. Hopefully, you’ve sparked a memory and can now answer them, if not, reread the text or test for clues.
Increase your odds on multiple-choice questions!
 To increase your odds of making the right choice, first eliminate all the answers or stems you know are wrong
 Then make a guess between the remaining answers or stems. It’s a 50/50
guess, but always go for your first instinct!
Go Over ALL returned Tests!
 Make correction on all your tests, study all the ones that you go wrong.
Teachers often repeat questions!
 Check your marks to make sure the teacher hasn’t made a mistake.
They’re English teachers not Math teachers!

Check Your Answers!
 Make sure you haven’t made any lame mistakes – left out a question, or worse!

How to Approach Essay Questions!
 Don’t freak out!
 Brainstorm first; eliminate the first three ideas (everyone else has these ideas too!)
 Make your writing legible (if they can’t read it, it doesn’t count!)
 Use big words (correctly).
 Reread your essay to make corrections (spelling counts).
 Make sure to include a proper introduction, thesis, body and conclusion.
 If you don’t know the answer, think; write down what you know anyways – you may be right!

Answering Essay Test Questions
Essay test questions are in-depth questions that cannot be answered in a few words, but require at least a paragraph. Like an essay, an essay question has a main idea that you must recognize to answer the question fully and satisfactorily. In the case of the English 10 and English 12 provincials is understood that your essay responses should be a minimum of three paragraphs including a brie fntroduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion complete with quotes and exemplars from the short story, or poetry sections.
Here are some useful tips for writing answers to essay test questions
1. Read directions and questions carefully. To answer her question concisely, look for clue words that indicate how questions should be answered. These words include explain, compare, illustrate, summarize, or contrast.
2. Restate the question as a declarative sentence. If the question says, “Compare the tone in the short story See How They Run and the poem Advice to Beginners,” then your answer might begin,” In See How They Run by Jane Eyre and Advice to Beginners by Emily Bronte, both authors used tone to illuminate the main character or speaker.”
3. Be concise and focused. Avoid including unnecessary information. Don’t repeat yourself. Answer the question as thoroughly as you can and then move on to the next one.
4. Use a scratch paper, for writing down ideas, and outline, and/or draft. This will enable you to… thoughts or outline your answer without messing up your test pages.
5. Leave time to go over your finished work. Allow yourself time to go back and make – as neatly as possible – and a necessary corrections in punctuation, grammar, or spelling.

From A Guide to high school Englislh 3rd edition, LET publications Abbotsford, BC
Last modified: Thursday, 2 June 2011, 2:05 PM