8 Ways Not to Take a Test

Posted September 24, 2012

There are lots of study tips out there, and even more college lifehacks. But now’s the time to learn what they don’t teach you in school: how not to take a test. Avoid these eight test day mistakes, and earn yourself that A. Here are eight ways to never take a test.

  1. Inebriated

    Drunk, stoned, or hungover is not the way to take a test. If you have any pride whatsoever, you’ll both study and show up sober. Consider this a warning from your future self: Partying is cool, but getting good grades is cooler. Lots cooler.

  2. Starving

    Have a good breakfast or lunch before you take an important test. If your stomach is growling, you won’t be able to think as clearly as you should. Brain foods include salmon, nuts, and flax.

  3. Cold

    Read: Unprepared. If you haven’t read a lick and have studied even less, you’re probably going to bomb your test. No matter how easy you think your exam might be, don’t take it cold. Know the material, the format, and the expectations before you sit for the test.

  4. In The Nude

    For starters, you’ll probably get arrested. And you’re bound to be distracting to your fellow students. Do everyone a favor and wear some clothes. There’s a time and place for everything. It’s called the shower.

  5. In The Bell Jar

    If you’ve recently suffered and are grieving a loss, talk with someone at your school to reschedule your test. Pro Tip: This does not include breakups. An appropriate amount of time to attend a funeral and be with family is a necessary courtesy most professors will extend. Don’t take advantage of the graciousness, though — it’s much easier to get your work out of the way, as the material should be fresh on your mind.

  6. Strung Out

    Burning the candle at both ends? Don’t do that. If your mind isn’t rested and relaxed, you’re bound to perform poorly on your exams. Pulling an all-nighter sometimes can’t be helped, but try to avoid living a life of fatigue. Drink water, eat life-giving foods, and get some restful sleep. Your body, brain, and GPA will thank you.

  7. With Your Eyes Closed

    Even if you’re going to bomb, you might want to read the questions. If you’re really that tired (see above), you should plan your life around your studies next time, not the other way around.

  8. Stressed Out

    Find a way, if you can, to cultivate some zen. Even if you’re worried about your grade, once you enter the room, it’s your job to do your best. Good stress is good, but bad stress is debilitating, and it can reflect poorly on your test performance. Try to find some calm before the storm (your test). It will all be over soon enough.

Leave a Comment