Test Taking for Dummies

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“How to take a test like an Asian”. Personally, I never thought I’d end up typing this on my Google search bar. You must think I’m feeling a bit too desperate to be initiating such profound research or you may feel that I’m looking in the wrong place for my answers.

Let me stop you right there.

Kidshealth.org, testakingtips.com, collegeinfogeek.com, prepscholar.com, wikihow.com, yahooanswers.com, and how-to-get-into-harvard.com have all been meticulously analysed and are all neatly tidied in my history tab. Don’t get me wrong, these websites do contain some helpful information but none are, so to speak, “INSA-worthy” and here’s why:

1. Analyse how you did on a similar test in the past.  

I’m sorry, but this sweet human being is clearly unaware that I’ve done EVERY SINGLE previous test on the SAME subject since 1974…(Kindly made available to you by the Scan the Web Team (; ).  Yet, INSA continues its pursuit of making me cluelessly stare at my test paper. Okay, okay, you got me. I admit I might have been taking repetitive sneak peeks at Laura’s test corrections while I was studying.

2. Read the test through first. 

(To be read along with a heavily sarcastic voice:) Well that worked out just fine on my Mechanics test didn’t it? It’s as if “they” had visited the exact same website I got this tip from and said: “Let’s help our students with that by adding endless text of information along with diagrams that can only be understood by indepth vision into space.” Easy right?

3. Focus on addressing each question individually 

Exercise 1  (11 pts)

Question 1: Easy I got this.

Question 2: Okay there’s no way what I wrote is correct.

Question 3: “Using question 2, please find…” (Heartbeat stops)

Question 4: Can’t do that.

Question 5: Can’t do that either.

Question 11: *skips to exercise 2*

Exercise 2 (9 pts)   *Mental math*: 1 + 9 = 10. There’s still hope.

Question 1: “Recall Question 2 of Exercise 1…..F&àc@k!!!

4. Build a succinct and organised cheat sheet when authorised.

Most of my classmates will tell you that I always have really pretty cheat sheets. Proper Highlighting and lovely color coding all on point. I also take great pride in stating that my handwriting can go as small as font 9 and that I will fit you a whole thermodynamics chapter into half a page. Nevertheless, my encyclopedia-like doctrine is no match  against ancient professor sorcery and contains little to no helpful information.

5. Form study groups. 

I saved my personal favorite for last.

Study Buddies. Check. Study Room. Check. Snacks. Check. It’s 14:00. By this point everyone is looking good.  People are sitting behind their MacBooks, taking notes on writing pads with matching pens with their coffee mugs on the side, and everyone’s wearing those smart glasses. We’re all looking real sharp and ready to reach new dimensions in our educational journey. It’s 14:05, people are either solving Taylor expansions or discussing face-centered cubic crystal systems. 14:15. Snack packages have started to open but focus is still there. 14:20. The first non-study related subject is spoken out loud. Of course, you expected it from THAT guy and you’re quick on your feet to prevent him from going any further into the potentially distracting subject. 14:30. Havoc is unleashed. You were unable to stop THAT guy from speaking and now everyone’s gossipping. On the one side of the table everybody is wrecking the Beurk’s menu. On your opposing side their already planning what they’re going to do during the weekend. And you, well, as you watch the scene unfold you are determined to prevent from acting foolishly so you look back at your computer screen just to realise you were watching cat videos on facebook this whole time #Pujol. You quickly recover your spirits and close the tab. But then, someone taps you on the shoulder, and says, “OMG, I know something that I’m not supposed to talk about but I’ll tell you if you agree to keep it a secret okay?”

You can’t resist that can you?


All in all, if you want to do well on tests well…you’re reading the wrong article. But don’t lose hope! Comfort yourself with the fact that even I’m still here. Believing in yourself is all you need.

Article by Paul BRET                                                                                                                                                              SCAN 72






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