Factors influencing high test scores

When it comes to testing, what makes some students to score high while other to score lower? There are number of factors that indicate how the student will perform on a test. Students knowing these factors can increase their test scores. However, keep in mind there is no quick solution that will give you an A on a test.

Here are some points affecting test score results:

  • preparation for the test,
  • following of the test instructions,
  • following test-taking tips,
  • managing time allotted for the test, and

Preparation for the test

This is probably the biggest influencing factor of how the student will do on a test. If the student is not prepared for the test, the answer is even easier: the student is not ready for the test and will likely score low. To the student, the test would be a great challenge. If inadequately preparing for an exam means the student will perceive the test as harder, is the reverse true that when the student prepares for the exam, the test will seem easier?

The answer is yes. By not preparing for the exam, the student made the test for him/her harder. By preparing for the test, the student is able to build skills and knowledge of the subject matter to take the test more effectively and with confidence. Preparing for a test does not mean you start getting readying a day or two before the exam. Rather, preparing for a test is a long-term study habit that starts early to help the student build the necessary skills and abilities to the take test to do well.

Following of the test instructions

Test instructions also play a major role in determining how the student will do on a test. Even if you know the material and don’t follow the instructions for taking the exam, your score still may not be as high if you go contrary to the instructions. If you have ever taken a test before, you know instructions for each test vary. Even if you know the test instructions, it is probably a good idea to read them just in case. Failing to follow test instructions may cost you some test time (time is what you probably want the most during the test) and even some points.

This is why it is important to read and understand the instructions carefully. If you don’t understand the instructions, ask your teacher or instructor for an explanation.

Following test-taking tips

Your professor may give you some testing tips for taking the exam, if you ask. If necessary, ask for a sample test to get an idea of what to expect.

Here some general helpful tips for taking a test:

  • Have a positive attitude toward the test. A test is just an evaluation tool of the material covered in your class, it should not be perceived as a way to trick you.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Don’t forget to get a good and early start on the test day.
  • Have confidence in yourself. If you have studied and prepared properly for the test, you will do well.
  • Listen to your professor/teacher for test instructions
  • Remember to read instructions.
  • Manage time
  • Read each question carefully
  • Make sure your answer is provided as instructed. For instance, for a multiple-choice test, you will need to choose (or find) the correct answer; however, for a short-answer type question, you will need to write an answer. For a multiple-choice test, mark only one answer for each question.
  • Make sure you answer space matches the question number. This is probably more important for a multiple-choice tests or when you skip a question for later.
  • Skip challenging questions for later (to ensure you first answer those questions that you perceive easy)
  • Recheck your answers, if time permits. Also, consider doing those tests that you have skipped for later.

Read this post for more helpful information for taking exams.

Managing fixed test time

Keeping track of your test time is probably as important as studying for the exam. Just like without studying it is difficult to score high on a test, lack of test time can mean: less time to answer each question, skipping of checking for any test mistakes, some questions on the test may be submitted as unanswered, and so on.

Managing time does not mean you need an alarm clock or look at your watch to figure out how much time you spent on a question. Rather, it is about knowing you want to answer as many questions you can without spending too much time on just one question.

Before the start of the test, get an idea of how much time you have for each question. For example, if there are 50 questions and you have 50 minutes to answer for the whole test. You know you have 1 minute for each test. So if 20 minutes later you are still at question number 1 or 2, you know you are spending too much time on answering questions. At this rate, you may not have time left for answering other questions.

In the first-round of answering the questions, it is probably a good idea to answer as many questions as possible and mark those that cannot be answered and skipped. So using the same example as above, if 20 minutes later you are answering question number 25 but have skipped 3 questions, you know you have plenty of time to answer the remaining and skipped questions.

Posted on 10/14/2006
by Raj Singh