I Want to Fit In

Politically Incorrect Social Studies

How to Properly Take a College Exam

Posted by iwanttofitin on March 14, 2007

This post will cause much debate, and as such, will be featured on Crossfire (is that show even around anymore?). I seem to be anomaly in the exam taking sphere. Friends have consistently used the phrase, “You’re much smarter than you come across,” to point out my uniqueness in how I study, do projects, and take exams. I won’t discuss how to study because everyone really is different in that respect. My way of learning is by doing. Reading notes and chapters will do me no good. I need practice quizzes and lots of problems. That’s me.

I am consistently the very first person to be finished with an exam. Sometimes I am done so early, that the whole class watches me in wonder as I hand my exam to the teacher. Yes, I always answer every question/problem. There have been many times when the alloted time is an hour and fifteen minutes but I’ll finish in fifteen. There’s an art to exam taking that most people seem to not realize. You either know it or you don’t. It’s a simple as that. Sitting there for thirty extra minutes really won’t help you that much.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketIf you’re working on multiple choice, you have many options to get the answer right. Be smart about it and use some common sense. If you know the answer, you got it. If not, eliminate what you absolutely know can’t be the answer. You should be able to get rid of at least one. Next, go for the most ridiculous answer that just doesn’t fit the question being asked. This is more of an educated elimination. Remember, you don’t know the answer so you’re trying to guess the answer to the best of your ability. Ok, so now you have two (maybe three but that isn’t the norm) answers left. Go with your first instinct. Trust me on this. If the answer is one of those two, typically your first guess is the more educated of the two. You’ll psych yourself out if you keep going back and forth. Move on the next problem. A problem might arise where you can’t eliminate enough to guess. Well, if you don’t know the answer, just guess. I mean, what better choices do you have? You could cheat off your neighbor but he’s probably as dumb as you or has Test B and you have Test A. That sucks.

Short answer. NEVER leave any question blank (This goes for short answer, T/F, etc.)! That’s probably a commandment in the Bible. It’s that important. You’ll usually know at least 5% of an answer. Write as much BS as you think you can get away with and make it sound like you’re on top of the answer. Oh, and please keep it close to what the class is about. Most teachers will give you “effort” points. I’ve known 0% of an answer (because I didn’t go to class or forgot to study) and gotten a couple points just because I spent the time to give an answer. Teachers mistake that for, “Oh, he must have gotten confused with what I was asking.”
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Essay. I personally have a handicap when it comes to essays. Professors tend to ask for a specific length and 100% of the time it’s more than I need to write. I am a to-the-point writer (when not writing about things I want to write about) and usually get the job done in half the length that is required. To deal with my handicap, my handwriting font size increases a little during essays and so do my mistakes. Hey, scratching out words or sentences takes up space. I have also acquired an ability that I am proud of. I didn’t realize how good I was at BS’ing until I had a professor tell a student who was asking how in the world it was possible to write so much for his essays. Needless to say the professor’s response was this, “Why don’t you go ask James? He’s a master BS’er.” Awesome. My favorite compliment ever. You have to BS on essays once you get the main point in. You need to learn how to repeat yourself without it sounding like you are. It takes skill but it will save you many minutes during an exam.

Short answer. If you don’t know it, sorry. You’re F%@&!#. Your only option is to think of a word from your lecture or textbook and put it there. Every once in a blue moon you’ll get one right. Hey, it’ll be an awesome feeling. Believe me. I know.

Matching. If you’re having problems with these then maybe you shouldn’t be in college.

True/False. I absolutely hate T/F. I am no good at it. “Oh sorry, I used the word “but” instead of “or”. Cool teacher-man. Why are you so gay? I always save the T/F that I can’t answer until the very end. Count how many you have blank and then randomly come up with a T or an F in whatever order you want. Fill in the blanks using that order. You can’t do any better than that. Most professors are douches and leave no signs of a pattern. Randomly guessed answers will do you better than educated guesses on T/F.

I think we’re done. Don’t waste time thinking about an answer. Skip it. Finish everything you know and then do your educated guessing later. If you can’t get the answer within a minute after coming back to a question, you won’t have a brain fart and have the answer magically appear to you. That only happens after the exam.

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2 Responses to “How to Properly Take a College Exam”

  1. Lizzy D. said

    Does this mean you didn’t fail your exam the other day?

  2. Erin said

    above are some good hints, but i think most college students could use common sense and follow your hints w/o necessarily thinking about it

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