Tips to get You through Finals


As May rapidly approaches, tests are handed out more and more frequently. Test anxiety is common among high school students and sometimes hard to manage.


Cramming information and trying to memorize lists of vocabulary the night before a test is not as effective as it may seem. Ronald Boyd wrote a piece on study tips for the American Institutes for Research.


“The best way to get ready for a test is to study from the beginning of the course,” said Boyd, “It’s smart to prepare a little bit each day. Preparing for a test gradually lets you absorb the material, make connections between concepts, and draw conclusions.”


Preparing correctly can ease stress and increase the level of concentration. During the test however, certain strategies can improve test scores.


“Be prepared for taking a test by bringing paper, pencils, and pens with you” said Boyd. He also mentions the importance of following directions. “One of the most important test-taking skills is the ability to follow directions. Some students are so anxious to get the test over with that they skip the directions; this is often a costly mistake,” said Boyd.


Certain exams may be easier than others and can come in a variety of forms. When taking multiple choice exams there are a few things to make it easier.


“Work through multiple-choice tests quickly and carefully,” said Boyd, “Don’t get bogged down on a question that you can’t answer or are unsure about.”


In his article he mentioned another tip where students can make a small mark by unknown questions and come back to them later if there is time.


Although multiple choice exams are difficult for some students, essay exams lead to a lot of stress. Sarah Harberson, founder of Admissions Revolution, has some tips in order to successfully write an essay.


“Don’t worry about structure, sentence flow, and paragraph form just yet,” said Harberson, “that comes in the second, third, and fourth draft of your essay.”


As the piece begins to take form and has all the key components, there is still something missing. “Make them [the reader] feel something… anything,” said Harberson mentioning the importance of inserting voice into piece.


Some students are faced with the challenge of test anxiety and do not perform well on standardized tests but do well in their classes. Staff members at, a test prep website, addressed students who were nervous they would not get into a good college because they wouldn’t do well on the ACT or SAT.

“Every college or university states that the quality of a student’s high school curriculum and performance in those classes as indicated by grades and teacher recommendations carry far greater weight in the admissions decision process than test scores,” wrote the staff, “ Of course there is a cluster of very competitive colleges that have to use testing more because of the large number of qualified candidates. But we are talking about twenty to thirty colleges here.”
Although test anxiety may feel impossible to overcome, there are many ways to get passed it and perform well on the numerous tests toward the end of the year.