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This chapter is from the book

Exam Prep Questions

This chapter doesn’t really lend itself to practice questions. Nevertheless, the tips and suggestions presented here can significantly enhance your exam score, and you should practice (or think through, as they relate to your own specific situation) following these tips and suggestions so as to achieve the highest score possible.

Consider the following short (fictitious) vignettes that highlight test-takers who did not follow the strategies presented in this chapter and fell victim to the consequences:

  • Kathy Smith has always been a good test-taker, having scored well on her college entrance exams with very little preparation (not to mention very little sleep). Although she gets to the test center in plenty of time, she stayed up late into the night before the exam, watching movies with a friend. Given that this exam requires attention to detail, her lack of sleep causes her mind to wander, and as a result she misses several questions she otherwise would have easily answered correctly.
  • Kirk Jeffries lives in the northeastern United States, and is well accustomed to unpredictable weather, especially in the winter months. Moreover, he’s taking the exam in the city where he works, so he’s not worried about getting lost on the way to the test center. But the morning of the test, an unexpected winter storm blows into town, turning the streets into sheets of ice. Kirk, not "planning for the unexpected," must rush through bad weather to make it to the test on time. After he arrives, he is so anxious from barely avoiding sliding into another vehicle (and, in general, worrying about being late), that he has trouble concentrating on the questions at hand.
  • Jennifer Kirkpatrick has done everything right in preparing for the exam. From studying for several weeks in advance to learning (and practicing!) relaxation techniques, she is confident of her abilities to do well on the exam. The morning of the exam, she gets up very early and heads out to the testing center, arriving nearly an hour and a half in advance. She thinks this extra time will allow her a chance to do some last-minute cramming, but this strategy actually backfires: She becomes overly nervous about the impending exam and begins to second-guess her thorough preparation. Rather than feeling confident (and enjoying the benefits of a good night’s sleep), she begins the test with feelings of anxiety and insecurity as to about her ability to perform well. Long story short: Sometimes being too early can be a detriment, if you are going to use that extra time to worry!
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