Midterms and Finals: Six Super Strategies

You’ve prepared well for your exam, but taking tests makes you anxious. Sometimes you get stuck on one question and have trouble moving forward. Other times you find yourself rushing, concerned that you’ll run out of time before completing the test.

In this second of three guest posts on test-taking, ADHD Coach Jonathan Salem shares strategies to use to manage your pace and process while taking a test. His prior post offered tips on preparing for an exam. His subsequent post addresses strategies specifically for multiple-choice tests.


1) Some teachers allow you to bring formulas, or notes, to a test. So, if it’s allowed, bring all formulas, notes, dates, facts on a piece of paper and to keep available on the desk during the test.

2) Some test situations allow you to have blank, clean paper to make notes on. Memorize your formulas and/or key facts facts before the test, and as soon as you get to start the exam, write down all your formulas from memory onto the blank paper, before the information gets lost in your head. Use this as a reference throughout the test.

3) Throughout the test, keep an eye on the clock. If timed, determine how many questions there are, and how many minutes you have. Then, divide minutes by questions, and you will know on average how much time you can spend per question, so you can try to keep pace.

4) If you are going slowly, move on to another question, or another section, and come back to the difficult ones later.

5) Sometimes a test question may yield facts that can be used somewhere else in the test. But be careful, if you are not certain of a fact, then you shouldn’t rely upon it for other answers to the test.

6) If there is extra time after all these steps have been taken, stay and review your answers. Don’t change answers unless you have a factual reason to change them. But you might find a few errors in your review, and that will boost your grade as well. Every bit helps!

Remember to use your accommodations if you have them!

For more on midterms and finals, see this post!

Guest post by Jonathan Salem, M.S. who specializes in entrepreneurship, applied technology, and coaching clients with personal obstacles to overcome, including ADHD and/or mild to moderate traumatic brain injury. He can be reached at 409-ADHD-NOW (409-234-3669) or Jon@Coach4adultadhd.com

If you would like help with test-taking or other aspects of school success, consider working with a coach! See www.lizahmann.com for more information

Posted in college, high school, student, test

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