General information and resources for students and adult learners.

Different types of tests


You might be wondering why do you have to take so many tests.  The reasons behind testing are not to scare or punish you.  Test do several different jobs.

Tests help your teacher find out if a lesson has been successful.  If many students perform badly on a test, something is wrong.  The teacher may need to reteach the material in a different way.  Test also support learning.  They highlight the information being tested, which reminds students about important facts.  You should look at a test as an opportunity for success.  If you study and know the material, you will do well.

Types of tests
Success in testing goes back to how you learn.  If you are a verbal learner, you might find taking an essay test easier than a logical learner would.  Logical and visual learners might do better on a attest that requires reading graphs or charts.  No matter how you learn, you can improve your chances if you develop test-taking skills.
  • True or False - A true/false test presents statements and asks you to work out if the statement is true or not. When you take a true/false test, look out for words that make the statement either all positive or all negative.  Underline words such as all, always every, everyone, none, never, or no one.  Think carefully about whether the statement could possibly be true before answering these questions.
  • Multiple Choice - A multiple choice presents several possible answers to a question.  You must choose the correct answer.  Read the question carefully.  You might be asked which word does not have the same meaning rather than to find a synonym.  Review the choices and cross off answers you know are wrong.  Then, pick the answer you believe is correct.  
  • Fill in the Blank - A fill-in-the-blank test gives a statement with some information missing.  You must provide the correct information.  Read the sentence to yourself and see if you know the word that goes in the blank.  Use the clues to help work out the answer.   
  • Short answer and essay questions - Short answer and essay question test ask you to write your answer in full sentences.  A short answer is usually one to four sentences.  An essay response may be several paragraphs.  Read the entire question and think about your answer.  Underline the key elements of the question.  You might make a short list of key items you wish to include in your answer in the margin of the paper.  Allow yourself plenty of time to write your answer.
  • Standardized Test - in addition to tests given by your teacher you may have to also take standardized tests.  Standardized  tests are given in many schools and on many subjects.  they may include true/false, multiple choice or other types of questions that are answered on a specially designed answer sheet.  These test usually cover maths and reading skills. They are given to find out what students know at a certain age.
You can not study for these tests but you can prepare. It is good to have a good night's rest and eat a good breakfast.  Take your time during the test, reading all directions fully before answering. 
  • Memorizing or reasoning - You will take many tests that require you to memorize material.  Such test include spelling words and definitions, history dates and math formulas.  Flashcards work well for items that need to be memorized. Mnemonics or jingles will also work for memorizing.  True/false, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank and matching tests usually require you to recall an answer from memory. 
Some tests require reasoning, such as working out an answer or drawing a conclusion.  In a science test, you might need to explain why or how something happens. A math word problem also requires reasoning.  Short answer and essay questions usually need an answer that you reason out.  



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