15 Best Standardized Test-Taking Strategies (FAQs) | 2023

Standardized Test-Taking Strategies: Standardized tests are taken by students worldwide.

Colleges use this test to assess candidates’ abilities seeking admission into a degree program. Standardized tests are also used for several other purposes other than admission.

However, standardized tests are designed so difficult and rigorous, and any student who desires to do well on them must put in a lot of work.

This article will discuss standardized tests and how to do well.

What is a “Standardized Test”?

A standardized test is an assessment technique consistently designed so that all test candidates answer the same questions with the same weight of marks.

Standardized tests are used for many purposes, such as to assess the educational advancement of elementary or high school students, the abilities of students seeking admission into colleges/universities, and several other purposes.

A good number of standardized tests consist of multiple-choice (MCEs) and true or false questions.

However, a standardized test can come in the form of an oral test or a practical skills performance test.

Standardized tests are, without a doubt, one of the best ways to figure out how smart a student is, and they are usually used when evaluating many people simultaneously.

Top 15 Standardized Test-Taking Strategies

Here are some of the most effective ways to take standardized tests that will help you do well:

1. Learn about the test

Before you even take the test, ensure you find out everything you need to know about the test.

From the grading system of the test down to the structure of the test, ensure that you acquire detailed information concerning the test.

Find out the duration of the test and if it is broken down into sections.

Also, find out if the standardized test is a computer-based or paper-based test. Knowing all this information will enable you to learn effectively.

2. Sign up for tutorial classes

If you find it difficult to comprehend a particular section of the test, ensure that you sign up for tutorial classes months before the test.

Even though they come at a cost, tutorial classes will help you learn more and get a better grasp of that section, improving your performance.

3. Join a study group

If you have people in your school or your residential area who are planning to take the same test as you, forming a study group with about six of them is a great idea.

However, be careful not to form a study group with students who are not studying hard for the test.

Also, even if you’re in the right group, ensure everything you talk about is related to the test, and stay away from anything that could be a bad distraction.

4. Read within the syllabus

When studying for any standardized test, ensure that you stay within the syllabus.

No matter how intriguing a section may be, avoid the temptation of reading what will not be asked in the exams.

Most standardized tests have a very large syllabus, so it will make more sense for you to channel your time and energy to cover the parts you are still lagging in.

This is an important tip among standardized test-taking strategies.

5. Understand what is expected of you

Before you start the test, read the instructions line by line so you know what to do in each section and don’t make any mistakes that will cost you.

6. Practice consistently

One thing that will help you do well on any standardized test is practicing hard every day.

Use practice tests regularly to get used to the test’s format and the kinds of questions it asks, as well as to figure out where you still need to improve.

7. Find out whether you will be penalized for incorrect answers

Every standardized test has its grading system.

While you can get punished for incorrect answers in some situations, some standardized tests do not follow the same rule.

So, ensure that you find out if wrong answers attract any punishment to develop a technique that will enable you to overcome this grading system without any issues.

8. Sleep well

Ensure you get sufficient rest before stepping into the exam hall on test day. Going into the hall with dizziness will prevent your brain from functioning effectively.

The impact of good sleep cannot be over-emphasized as one of the best standardized test-taking strategies.

9. Eat well

Make sure you eat a good breakfast before proceeding to the test hall on D-day.

Don’t eat any food containing sugar; eat foods rich in protein, as this will enhance your focus and boost your brain.

10. Come prepared

Carry all the materials required for the test when you come for it.

If you are taking a paper and pencil test, go along with your writing materials, even if provisions may be made to avoid getting heartbroken.

11. Don’t rush to pick an answer without understanding the question

Always read through a question thoroughly before picking an answer on any standardized test.

Reading the question line by line will enable you not to miss any phrase or word that gives meaning to the question asked.

Moreover, don’t skim through a passage when attempting English comprehension questions.

Understanding the question will make it easy for you to find the answer.

12. Manage your time well

Do not spend so much time on one question in any standardized test. Skip the difficult questions and focus on the easier ones before returning to them if time allows.

This is one of the best standardized test-taking strategies.

13. Review your answers if you have time

If you finish answering all the questions and you still have some time remaining, use it to review your answers and make sure that you did not place an answer in the wrong place.

14. Use prep materials

Besides making use of practice test questions to prepare for exams, ensure that you procure study materials and books related to the exams, you are writing.

For instance, if you are writing the SAT, Kaplan’s SAT Prep Plus or Barron’s SAT Study Guide are the prep books that will help you immensely.

However, if you don’t know which prep books to acquire, you can seek your professor’s opinion for the best recommendations.

Moreover, you can check the internet for prep books with the best reviews.

15. Teach someone

If you are well-versed in all areas of the test syllabus, you can also improve your memory by teaching someone.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Standardized Test-Taking Strategies

What is meant by a standardized test?

A standardized test is an assessment tool based on the principle of uniformity. Every test-taker is subjected to the same set of questions, and their responses are scored in the same predetermined way.

What are the features of a standardised test?

A test must be designed to assess the constructs it promises to measure. Reliability means that a person’s results on the same test will be similar if taken twice.

What are standardized tests called?

Most standardized examinations are summative or end-of-unit assessments. Because everyone gets the same test and grading system, standardized assessments are seen as fairer.

What is the difference between tests and standardized test?

A standard test is a comprehensive evaluation of the student’s academic growth over a given period, typically a semester or an academic year. In a classroom setting, learning is assessed after a shorter length of time. Students are taking more of both types of exams because of the current climate of heightened accountability in the educational system.


One of the hallmarks of standardized tests is that all test takers are asked the same series of questions and given the same number of points for correct answers.

Standardized tests are used for various objectives, including measuring the academic progress of elementary and secondary school pupils, determining whether or not an applicant is qualified for university entrance, and many more.

Standardized tests are known to be difficult, and most of them have a large syllabus.

Nevertheless, use all the tips above to do well on any standardized test you take.

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

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