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Student Services: Academic Support

Student Academic Support Services (SASS) is the place to go if you need help succeeding academically. Located in Pope John Paul II Center, Room 210, we provide tutoring, testing services, disability services, and more.

Two students studying the human anatomy

A group of students discussing amongst each other

Test Taking Techniques

Objective and Subjective Tests:

Multiple-Choice Questions: Options consist of one correct answer and several designed to mislead.

True/False Questions: Be careful with multiple negatives. Look at all parts of the question-the entire question must be true for the answer to be true. Qualifiers usually point to true answers, Absolutes usually point to false answers.

Matching Lists: Determine if all pieces are used once and only once. Review both lists first. Work from the shortest list. Match those you are sure of and then use the process of elimination for the rest.

Short-Answer Questions: Most want specific details. Remember key words. Word the answer precisely. Look for agreement clues.

Essay Exams: Follow instructions carefully. Brainstorm and jot down points so that you'll remember them once you start writing. Plan a systematic answer (make an outline). Start with a strong statement and use good transitions. Be complete and concise. Use instructor's key words and phrases. Write neatly.

Math or Science Questions: Determine what information the question gives you and what it asks you to figure out. Draw a picture, if applicable. Pay attention to units. If you can't remember the actual value of a constant, make one up for you will probably get points for understanding the questions even though the answer is wrong.

Mastering Essay Tests

Read test directions carefully, analyze the questions, and plan your answer. Brainstorm what to include then put it into logical order following these guidelines.

Types of Essay Questions and What They are Asking for:

Discuss: write as much as you can

Describe: write so the subject can be visualized

Explain: give reasons and as much info as you can

Compare: make a numbered list

Contrast: discuss differences

Enumerate: make a numbered list

List: make a numbered list

Summarize: briefly state the info

Outline: make a numbered/lettered layout of main ideas and sub-points

Define: give meaning of

Identify: to establish the set of traits by which a thing is recognized or known

Relate: discuss connections between/or among items

Trace: discuss in logical or chronological sequence

Diagram: draw a picture and label its parts

Illustrate: draw a picture and label its parts or give a long example

Interpret: operate and analyze data, then explain results

Justify: discuss good and bad points and conclude that it is good

Prove: discuss good and bad points and conclude that it is good

Criticize: discuss good and bad points and conclude that it is bad