Prepare for Tests

Review our list of pre test tips.


Learning to prepare for tests is an important middle school skill. Remember these points as you get ready for tests:

  • Gather all materials — The first step to good test preparation is collecting all the materials you need to study for your test. These may include class notes, prior quizzes, and review sheets provided by your teacher. Whatever information you have should be at hand when you start to study.
  • Choose your study style — Different students develop different styles for studying. You need to develop techniques that work for you. Maybe you should study alone. Maybe your parents should help by asking you questions to help you review. You might study best with a friend. You might want to make charts or flashcards. Try several methods and pick the one that's best for you and the test you're preparing to take.
  • Ask your teachers for suggestions — Your teachers can help you learn how to effectively prepare for tests. As you prepare to study (several days before the test), ask your teacher if the materials you plan to review are the right ones. The day before the test or the morning of the test, go to school early and ask any last-minute questions.
  • Get a good night's sleep — A good night's sleep the night before a test will help you think more clearly and focus on the questions. Record television shows and save video games for the weekend, especially when you have a major test.
  • Eat a good breakfast — No need to overdo it, but taking time for breakfast can help you think more clearly. A growling sound for the duration of the test may have you concentrating more on food than the test questions!
  • Listen to the teacher's instructions — Before the test begins, pay particular attention to the teacher's instructions. You may hear some helpful suggestions or some details about a particular section of the test. Read all directions carefully before starting the test. If you don't understand the directions, ask the teacher to clarify them. A teacher won't give you an answer, but an extra explanation of the question may help.
  • Plan your allotted time — Work as quickly as you can, but don't rush. You won't get an "A" for finishing first.
  • Use good strategies when completing the test — Answer the questions you're sure about first. Next, complete the sections of the test that are worth the most points. For true/false questions, remember the trick about watching out for words like "never" and "always." Frequently, such statements are false. Read each question carefully. For multiple choice questions, try to recall the answer before you look at the choices. Use the process of elimination to help you on the tough ones.
  • Last, but not least, don't turn in your test the minute you finish — If you finish the test before time is up, take a few minutes to review your answers. It's easy to make a mistake when you're rushing. When teachers say it's a good idea to "go over the test," they're right.

Here are other documents located on AIE.org that you may be interested in: