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Practice Taking Tests

by Ron Kurtus (updated 28 February 2022)

If you want to be good at playing a musical instrument, you must practice playing that instrument. The same holds true for being able to do well in tests.

Practicing taking tests will improve your ability to work under the pressure of answering questions without your book and under strict time constraints. Sometimes doing homework as if it was a test, competing with friends, or taking sample tests are ways to practice.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Why practice?

One big difference between taking a test and doing homework is that you are working under the pressure of finishing the test in within a certain time limit. The other difference is that you usually cannot look in your textbook or notes for information or an answer.

Practice makes you better

Since the whole idea is to be good at taking tests, the more you practice taking tests, the better you get doing them. You can practice by making believe your homework is a test, or you can take tests in study aids.

Helps overcome fears

There are also some students that know the material but freeze up when working under pressure, so they often don't do well in tests. These methods will also help them gain the confidence they need.

Practice with homework

One way to practice taking tests is to try to do your homework as if it was a test.

Set a time limit

Set a time limit for doing certain homework exercises—perhaps using an alarm clock to provide some pressure—and don’t use notes or your textbook to help you. When time is up, you can give yourself a grade and go back and finish the problems you couldn't do.

Other benefit

This could also be a good way to learn to get through your homework more rapidly. If you have to solve a number of math problems or have to write an essay, doing it under time constraints will help you "zip through your homework."

May not always work

Obviously, there are many homework assignments where using your homework to practice taking tests may not work. In some cases, you really need to refer to the book or your notes to get your homework done.

Other ways to practice

There are some other ways to practice taking tests.


Competing with a friend to see who finishes the homework first can be a way to practice performing under pressure. Obviously, you have to get the answers right or do a good job in the homework, besides being able to finish first.

Also, remember to follow the School for Champions philosophy of congratulating the winner—whether it is yourself or the other person. The idea isn't to win, but instead to improve the skills of both of you.

Taking sample tests

For students trying to get into college, there are books that help you prepare for the SAT and similar exams. They have sample tests to take as practice. This is another possibility to hone your test-taking skill.


Being good at tests is important in getting good grades. You can improve your test-taking abilities by practicing taking tests when doing your homework, competing with friends or using practice tests.

Practice makes perfect

Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials


Good Grades Resources


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Top-rated books on Taking Tests in School

Questions and comments

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