10 Tips for the AIMS

By Devon Bonelli

  1. Study well the week before: Cramming can make a test taker feel extremely tired and nervous. Not studying until a few hours before the test will also leave a test taker unprepared. To avoid this, make sure that material is studied for a while, not just the day before.
  2. Get enough sleep the night before: For teens, it is important to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Test scores tend to improve if the tested student has had enough sleep, and that means no staying up late watching Big Bang Theory or texting friends.
  3. Eat a good breakfast: Don’t skimp out on breakfast! A test taker may feel too nervous to eat in the morning, but they must eat. Not eating deprives the body of nutrition, making the test taker distracted during tests.
  4. Be confident: A test taker must go into the test with an open mind. Anyone who thinks they can accomplish something most likely will!
  5. Listen closely to all the instructions: Even if you have taken the test before, directions may change or be interpreted differently by the proctor of your test.
  6. Read all the questions: Carefully scan the test for easy questions. In reading comprehension tests, read the questions before the article; knowing what the test asks will help the test taker. Additionally, if the test can be written on, it may help the test taker to circle the answers on the test, then go back to fill in the Scantron or answer form.
  7. Cross out the two worst choices: Eliminating nonsensical answers will help the test taker on difficult questions. If guessing must be used, then the test taker will have a better chance.
  8. Manage time: Many tests may have a time limit. If the test taker is stuck on a question for a long time, their time will be wasted on a single question. Instead, they should skip over this question and come back to it later.
  9. Write carefully: When doing a short answer portion of a test, nothing is worse than having points deducted due to bad handwriting. To avoid this, a test taker should take their time writing, making sure 4’s and 9’s look different. This is one of many easy mix-ups that can lower test scores.
  10. Check the answers: Once a test taker has completed the test, they should go through and check all the answers, no matter how correct they think they are. There’s almost always one question where a test taker knew the right answer and filled in the wrong bubble. Silly mistakes can seriously lower a score, so students should check their work on every test, not just standardized ones.
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