Do you know what type of test-taker you are? Knowing what type of test-taker you are can help you to become more successful.

The Rusher

High risk for misreading, misinterpreting and mistaking due to focus on just getting through the test.

Characteristics:

  • Hurries through the test in a desperate rush to finish the exam before facts are forgotten
  • Arrives early, anxiously mumbling bits of information
  • Tightened body
  • While most students are completing the initial items, the rusher is one-third through the exam

Suggestions:

  • Practice relaxation exercises
  • Lessen cramming with a plan of study allowing for time to review
  • Practice test-taking strategies

The Turtle

Suffers from a lack of time and inability to complete all the items rather than a lack of knowledge or poor preparation.

Characteristics:

  • Moves through each question slowly, methodically and deliberately
  • Last one to finish or does not finish
  • Scores better in the first part of the exam compared to the end of the exam

Suggestions:

  • Take practice tests
  • Focus in increasing reading speed and comprehension
  • Use a clock or timer during exams
  • Calculate the amount of time allotted for each question
  • Check pace at various points of the exam, then increase speed if necessary
  • Determine questions that are answerable. For extremely difficult questions, make a best guess and then mark for later review

The Personalizer

Gives answers relying upon what one has learned from observation and experience only.

Characteristics:

  • Usually older, more mature students
  • Knowledge/insight gained through life experience
  • Reliance on experience causes incorrect answers

Suggestions:

  • Focus on brad principles that support actions
  • Avoid making mental connections between test scenarios and personal experience
  • Focus on generalities about the content
  • Formulate decisions in testing situations based on professional standards

The Second Guesser

Observes that I had it right, but then I changed it.

Characteristics:

  • Plays roles of both the examinee and the examiner
  • Changes answers because they seem wrong
  • Proceeds through the test as if correcting it

Suggestions:

  • Only go back and check marked items
  • Avoid changing responses unless you can state exactly why an answer is wrong
  • Move through the test carefully
  • Avoid using extra time to grade the exam

The Philosopher

Answers questions with own additional information instead of the intent of how the original question was written.

Characteristics:

  • Places high value on understanding the complexities of the situation
  • Doesn't believe he/she knows enough about the topic
  • Pours over selected questions with great intensity
  • Overanalyzes and reads into test questions looking for an unstated intent or trick
  • Has great difficulty reading items as they are
  • Tends to select responses that only provide his/her own view of the truth

Suggestions:

  • Develop self-confidence
  • Focus on items as they are written
  • Avoid overreading test questions
  • Use practice tests and questions

The Squisher

Emphasis in planning avoidance of the exam vs. preparing for the actual test.

Characteristics:

  • Views exams as a hurdle to jump
  • Preoccupied with grades; fears failure
  • Avoids responsibility associated with the testing experience
  • Develops mental lists for test preparation that are never fully actualized
  • Attempts to squish information into the mind just before a test, a time when the mind's ability to learn new knowledge is at its lowest

Suggestions:

  • Determine a plan for progressive, discipline study
  • View test preparation as a step-by-step process
  • Devise time frames for completion of study tasks
  • Develop a consistent study plan

Adapted from http://www.delta.edu/llic/tlc/handouts.aspx