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Test Taking Skills

Tackle Benchmarks with Confidence!

Are you ready for benchmarks? Feeling anxious and overwhelmed? Try these proven skills to help you tackle your benchmarks with confidence!

Prepare Mentally and Physically

The night before your test, make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, so your mind and body are well rested and ready for the rigors of your testing. Cramming the night before a test, while appealing, is likely going to lead to more anxiety the day of the test and careless mistakes as your fatigued brain misses important ques in the questions and directions. In addition to getting plenty of rest, make sure you eat a well-balanced breakfast in the morning and drink plenty of water to give your body and mind the fuel it needs to perform at optimal levels. Avoid sugary and overly caffeinated drinks that will leave you feeling sluggish after the short-lived adrenaline rush. Instead, focus on healthy fats, protein, and whole grains that will energize and protect your cells throughout the day.


All too often, students start to feel the pressure of time constraints for testing and rush through the directions and prompts, missing important details. It is important to take the necessary time to read through the instructions and any related information before jumping into the questions. The directions and prompts are written thoughtfully and carefully to lead you in the right direction for your test. Nothing is worse than answering the questions, convinced you are correct, only to find out that you missed an essential detail in the directions that led you to get them all wrong! Take your time.

Manage Timing

Wear a watch or keep an eye on the clock in your classroom. Timing can be one of the most difficult things to tackle when taking tests. One of two things is likely to happen; you rush because you are afraid of how little time you may have or you ignore the time constraint all together and end up with a number of questions left unanswered at the end of the test section. To mitigate these challenges, familiarize yourself with how much time you have for your test and how many questions and question types there are. Allow yourself enough time to complete each section. For instance, multiple choice will take more time than true/false but far less time than a short answer. When you determine how much of your allotted time needed on each section, you can progress while keeping an eye on the time to ensure you finish the entire test.

Still feeling unprepared? Check out one of our new math classes, designed to mirror the school curriculum reviewing important foundational concepts and building on future lessons. Classes not for you? Astute Academics offers private tutoring services to meet your individual needs.

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