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Predicting Test Questions

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An effective way to study for tests is to predict the questions that will be on the test. Predicting test questions will help you to focus on the most important information to know going into the test. The key to predicting test questions is to identify the most likely sources of information from which your teacher will construct test questions.

Each of the following is a likely source of test questions.

Crystal ball
  • Any sections in your textbook that your teacher covers in class.
  • Information provided by your teacher that is not in your textbook.
  • Questions that your teacher asks in class.
  • Information that your teacher writes on the chalkboard.
  • Information that your teacher provides in a PowerPoint presentation.
  • Anything that your teacher reads aloud.
  • Verbal cues such as information that your teacher repeats.
  • Visual cues such as information that your teacher provides after checking his or her notes.

Here are some things you should do to further help you predict test questions.

  • Ask you teacher what material will be covered on the test. This will help you narrow the field of possible questions.
  • Ask your teacher what types of question formats will be on the test. The questions you predict will be different for an essay test than for an objective test such as multiple-choice or true/false.
  • Have a designated section in your notebook in which you write possible questions and their answers. Review these frequently.
  • Use a symbol such as an asterisk (*) to highlight information in your textbook (if allowed) and in your class notes that you are almost certain will be tested.
  • Work with a study group and brainstorm possible questions along with the other members of the group.
  • Review previous tests that were given by your teacher. This will help you identify the kinds of questions your teacher writes.
  • Imagine that you are the teacher. What questions would you write?
  • Last, but not least, pay careful attention whenever your teacher says, "This will be on the test." You can be sure that this information will be represented by one or more test questions.

Predicting test questions accurately will help you do well on a test.

All articles in the Taking Tests category:

Essay Direction Words Math Test Preparation
Multiple-Choice Tests Outlining a Response to an Essay Test Item
Predicting Test Questions Studying for Essay Tests
Studying for Multiple-Choice Test Taking Tests
Test Anxiety True/False Tests
Writing an Essay Test Answer

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