Keep the Test

An old test can be an extremely valuable study tool, so it is usually a good idea to keep all of your returned and graded tests in a safe spot. Keeping your old tests may sound like a waste of time and space, but here are some of the reasons why you should keep your old tests.

    • You can review the instructor’s preferred testing methods: Most instructors have their own ideas about the best way to assess the subject matter knowledge of their students. By reviewing the format of old tests, you can get an idea of how upcoming tests might be structured. Some professors love multiple choice questions, for instance, while others only give tests that include short answer and essay questions.
  • You can review the instructor’s grading methods and their advice:By looking at your old tests, you can get an idea of how your instructor assigns points for the questions that you have to answer. Pay close attention to the grading methods used for short answer, math, and essay questions, as these types of questions are the most subjective to mark. If you were wise, you also recorded the advice or tips that your teacher mentioned during the in-class test review. Go over these tips to boost your chances of success on your upcoming test or exam.
  • You can use tests to create a study outline for exams: Studying for final exams can be extremely difficult because you will usually be tested on the material that you learned over an entire semester or an entire year. Since tests usually address the most important material covered during a course, they are invaluable exam preparation tools. Although reviewing all of your notes is important, reviewing your old tests can help you identify the concepts and theories that you should focus on.
  • You can use tests to assess your knowledge: Testing your own knowledge of a subject is one of the most effective ways to determine whether the study methods that you are using are effective. While you’re preparing for a final exam, cover up the responses on your old tests and see whether you can answer all of the questions. This will let you know how prepared you actually are for that upcoming final exam.
  • You can pass old tests on to friends: After you’ve finished a course, pass your old tests on to your friends that haven’t taken the course yet, and ask your friends to do the same. A collection of old tests is a wonderful resource to have while you’re preparing to take a test for a new course or a new instructor.


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