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Loyola University Chicago


Achieving College Excellence

Test Taking Help

Test Taking Tips

Study preparation is the first step to scoring well on a test. However, test-taking strategies during an exam can ensure you maximize your points and demonstrate what you know.


1. Spend the first minutes of your exam examining the layout of the test as a whole.

2. Assign a time limit to each section of the test. Be sure to budget enough time for high point questions. Stay on targets by watching the clock or bring a watch to the test.


1. Read directions! Though this might seem simple, make sure you do it!

2. Do what you know first to build confidence and activate your memory.

3. Do multiple choice  before short answer questions as they might remind you of details (i.e. names or dates) you can include. But leave enough time for longer response questions.

4. Stuck on a question? Move on and come back. At the very least, use process of elimination to narrow down your choices and make your best attempt.

5. Watch your time and review your answers.

Test Anxiety: Coping and Stress Management 

Many students encounter anxiety or stress before or during a test. Here is a list of strategies and resources that can help you cope:

Before the Test:

  • Develop an execute a study plan: Walking into an exam, you should feel more confident and assured of your ability to succeed if you know you studied in advance.
  • Visualize Success: Picture yourself arriving to the exam and completing it in a calm and confident manner. For more tips on how on visualization techniques, visit the Loyola Academic Advising page for information.
  • Talk with someone: Talking with friends, family, LUC Wellness counselors or ACE support staff about stress and feelings can be a productive way to  cope with stress and make a plan of action.

During the Test:

  • Do a problem you know how to tackle first. This will help boost your confidence and trigger other stored knowledge as well.
  • If you don’t know an answer, skip it and come back. Don’t dwell on one problem; move on to be productive and maximize your time for the exam.
  • Breathe deeply and do the best you can. 

On-Campus Resources

Loyola has numerous resources for students who would like in-person and additional support for managing stress or anxiety. Here are a few suggestions to strengthen your social, mental, and emotional health on campus.

  • Counseling: The Wellness Center hosts small group counseling sessions focused on using relaxation and meditation techniques to cope with stress. It is also a hub for services regarding personal health on campus. For more information about our partnership with the Wellness Center, visit the [ACE Counseling & Wellness Page—link]
  • Work Out: Exercise and physical activity have shown to bust stress and relax your body. The Halas Sports Center on campus is free for full-time Loyola students and available for a small fee for those that are part-time.
  • Seek Tutoring & Academic Support: Both [ACE Peer Tutor-Mentors—link to tutoring page] and Loyola’s Center for Tutoring and Academic Excellence offer tutoring services. The support of a peer tutor may be a productive way for you to learn how to cope with the stresses of college-level courses.
  • Get Involved: Getting involved with on-campus activities and meeting new students  can be  an excellent way to take your mind off stress. Although it is important to maintain a good balance across your responsibilities, Loyola has many clubs, volunteer opportunities, and leadership positions that can help you mix up your week. Look at the LUC Office of Student Life for a list of opportunities. 


For additional support with test-taking, visit the Loyola Academic Advising & Support Services website.


Achieving College Excellence
The TRIO Program
Loyola University Chicago · Sullivan Center for Student Services
1032 W. Sheridan Road · Chicago, IL 60660
Phone: 773.508.2753 · E-mail: ace@luc.edu

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