Test Taking Skills
Effective Study Techniques for Essay Tests
1. PREDICT QUESTIONS FROM YOUR NOTES.
- SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS
- If your notes list a group of people or things, the kind of essay question to predict is a short answer question.
- Short answer questions usually include one of the following words: list, name,define, or identify.
- TRACE QUESTIONS
- If your notes show the steps in a process of the listing and development of something, you should predict a trace question.
- Some key words or phrases usually found in trace questions are: "Describe the stepsin..."; "Outline the history or..."; "Trace the events leading up to..."; "Trace and development of...."
- COMPARE AND CONTRAST QUESTIONS
- If your notes describe two or more things that have some features which are similar and others which are different, predict a compare and contrast question.
- Words or phrases found in these questions might be: "Compare and contrast..."; "Show the similarities and differences..."; "Tell how two things are alike and different...";"Weigh the advantages and disadvantages..."
- DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- If your notes describe the effects of one thing on another, or the significance of a particular event, or the role of a specific individual or institution, predict a discussion question.
- These questions often begin: "Discuss the significance of..."; "Discuss the role of..."; "Discuss the effect of..."; "Discuss the relationship between...."
2. PRACTICE WRITING ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS YOU PREDICT.
3. PLAN YOUR APPROACH TO ANSWERING THE ACTUAL TEST QUESTIONS.
- Note points assigned to each question and allot your time accordingly.
- If you have a problem with a question, go on to the next one and come back to the first one later, if possible.
- Make brief, concise notes for each essay question.