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3. Using Time Effectively to Maximize Points
Most students don't think about how to improve their test-taking skills.
After experience, most students still believe in this.
Most students have had at least one of these experiences.
Your final test score is influenced by factors other than your level of preparation.
This chapter will give you some insights that will help you do better on the AP Biology Exam and other exams.
It is important to work at a consistent pace in order to score well on an exam.
The worst mistake that inexperienced or less savvy test-takers make is to come to a question that they don't know what to do with, so they panic and stall.
It is not unusual for students to waste five minutes on a single question because they are too stubborn to cut their losses.
It's important to know how much time you've spent on a question.
Know your pace.
If you want to know how long you take on questions, try to take on 5, 10, or 20 questions.
Knowing how long you spend on average per question will help you figure out how many questions you can answer effectively and how to pace yourself for the test.
There is a clock nearby.
You can keep track of time with a watch or clock nearby.
Constantly checking the clock is a waste of time and can distract you.
Make a plan.
If you want to know if you need to speed up or slow down, try checking the clock every fifteen or thirty questions.
This will make you aware of the time but not allow you to fall into the trap of dwelling on it.
Know when to stop.
If you invest a lot of time on a single question, you can potentially deprive yourself of the chance to answer easier questions later on.
If you can eliminate answer choices, don't feel bad about picking a random answer if you can't find the correct answer.
You do best when you work through the tests at a steady pace.
You can always ask a question you don't know what it is.
When you do, you will find that your previous mental block is gone and you will wonder why the question perplexed you the first time around.
Even if you don't know the answer, you won't waste time on questions that are easier to answer.
You don't have to answer all of the questions in chronological order.
If you're stumped by an essay or multiple-choice question, skip it or choose a different one.
You may not have to answer every question correctly in order to get your desired score.
Pick the questions you can answer and work on them.
This will help you get the most questions correct, and make you more efficient.
You can eliminate one or more answer choices.
The odds that you will answer the question correctly increase when you eliminate answer choices.
When all the questions on a test are of equal value, your overall goal is to get the most questions correct.
For your final score, you should set a realistic goal.
It's in your best interest to not try to work through every question if you need a high score.
You should check with the schools to which you are applying to find out if they accept your scores for credit.
The "guessing penalty" of a quarter of a point for every incorrect answer is no longer included in exams.
Students are only assessed on the total number of correct answers.
A lot of AP materials don't include this information.
If you are running out of time, you should fill in all the bubbles before the multiple-choice section ends.
Even if you don't plan to spend a lot of time on every question, you need to fill in something if you don't know what the correct answer is.
There is no penalty for guessing.
People experience anxiety before and during an exam.
The anxiety test can be helpful.
People find that they perform better under stress.
You know the feeling if you ever pull an all-nighter to write a paper and end up doing good work.
Too much stress is a bad thing.
A lower score is almost always caused by hyperventilating during the test.
Take a look at reality.
Before the test begins, evaluate your situation.
You have an advantage because many others taking the test are not as well-prepared and you are being graded against them.
Accept the fact that you won't ace the test if you didn't study.
Make sure you ask the right questions.
Your job is to maximize the benefits of what you know so that you can score as high as you can.
It's best to think of a test as a game.
Before tackling questions that will take more time, answer them quickly and easily.
Close your eyes, take a few slow, deep breaths, and concentrate on nothing but your inhalation and exhalation for a few seconds.
This form of meditation should help you to clear your mind of stress and concentrate better on the test.
If you've ever taken yoga classes, you know some good relaxation techniques.
If you can, leave your seat and assume a handstand position, then use them.
Make sure you know where the test will be given, what type of questions will be asked, and how long the test will take.
You don't want to worry about anything on test day or after the test has begun.
The best way to avoid stress is to study both the test material and the test itself.
If you read this book, you will take a major step towards a stressfree AP Biology Exam.
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