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Eastern Illinois University

Academic Support Center

Test-Taking Tips

Successful testing includes three parts: preparing for a test, taking the test, and post-test review. Begin with our handout of General Tips, which reviews all three steps in testing. Another handout outlines the PLAE Model to test taking: Plan, List, Activate, and Evaluate. These resources are being made available for students to use in any manner most effective for you. Please contact the Academic Support Center to meet with a Academic Support Consultant if you would like to learn how to strengthen any part of your testing ability.

Test Preparation

Good test preparation also includes reading the textbook and taking clear concise notes in lecture and from the text. Be sure to hone these skills as well!

Barriers to Test Performance:

Stress and test performance are related to each other. For many students, test performance declines when stress is over-stimulated. The common stressors can be divided into physical barriers and cognitive barriers. Review this handout for ideas for manage both types of stress and prepare for tests.


We are NOT advocates of cramming as the only method of test preparation. If you want to "cram" before a test as part of your review process, here are some ideas to make the final review effective.

Final Examinations:

Preparing for finals or other major cumulative examinations may require additional planning. The following handouts identify additional strategies:


TAP/Basic Skills/ACT for Teacher Licensure information:

Please refer to the Teacher Licensure information page for more information.


Test Taking

Managing Test Anxiety:

Even well-prepared students experience test anxiety. Various strategies in this handout may be used to help you relax and focus during a test.

Types of test questions:

There are four basic types of test questions. Regardless of the course, there are general strategies that can be used to be successful when responding to each type of question.

Taking Online Exams: Most strategies for in-person testing will work for online testing. Use this handout to pick up new strategies for online testing.


Academic Success Center

McAfee Gym, Room 2230
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-6696

Office Hours

Monday -Friday 8:00 am-4:30 pm