Testing tips from an experienced test-taker

  This week on Wednesday, April 19th, nearly all Darby students will be testing. Seniors will be taking the U.S. Government test, Juniors will be taking the ACT test, Sophomores will be taking the U.S. History test, and Freshmen will be taking the pre-ACT test. With all of these important tests coming up, it would be very valuable to know all the testing tips and tricks to help you get your best possible score.


   As a freshman, I have taken seven ACT’s and SAT’s. That’s about 24 straight hours of testing. My eighth grade ACT score was a 28, which is higher than 90 percent of Juniors. With that said, I can assure you that these tips are legitimate. The following advice consists of some basic hints that can have a big impact on your score.


  1. Know the tests – Obviously the goal of tests is to test whether or not you know the content on said test. You can improve the benefits of your studying if you know what content is on the tests most often. For example, tests like the ACT love to quiz your knowledge of commonly misused words and punctuation. Do you know the difference between affect and effect? How about the difference between a hyphen and a semicolon? Those are the types of questions that often appear on these tests. Also, many tests say how many there are of each type of question. If there are 12 more Algebra questions than there are Geometry questions, you may want to spend a little more time studying Algebra.


  1. Know the rules – Not following the rules on some tests could get you kicked out of the testing room and make your scores invalid. However, those aren’t the types of rules that usually mess up your testing scores. Basic test rules, such as the time you get for each section, are vital to your success in testing. Rules like this include times per section, and whether or not you miss points for guessing. Since  you do not miss points for guessing on the ACT or SAT, it would be extremely beneficial for you to answer every question. Also, if you do not know the time for each section, you can lose track of your testing pace, and have a plethora of unanswered questions at the end of the section.


  1. Know the basics – We have all heard these tips before; eat a good breakfast, get a good night’s sleep, et cetera. These ideas may be constantly repeated, but that’s because they are very important. Your brain functions better on more sleep, and you don’t want a growling stomach to distract you during the test. Some other tips you could try are putting some honey on your breakfast, eating some peppermints, or chewing some peppermint gum during the test. These can help keep your brain alert. In addition, make sure you are prepared for the test. Bring multiple pencils, a calculator, maybe a water bottle and some tissues, some snacks for the breaks, as well as anything else you might need. And for goodness sake, go to the restroom before the test.


   In conclusion, if you follow all these tips and advice, you should be prepared and confident going into your test. Panther Press wishes all Darby students good luck on their upcoming testing day.

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