This module explored how to prepare for, perform on, and learn from testing. Although it is understandable that tests create more anxiety for students than other kinds of assessments because they typically have larger grading weights, when approached in the right way, tests are not radically different from other course assessments. This module has explored how you can get the most out of tests by using active learning and study techniques, by properly preparing your body and mind before an exam to mitigate test anxiety, and by being willing to learn from mistakes before and after the exam.
Recall the differences between Maria’s and Thomas’s approaches to testing at the beginning of this module. After reviewing this module, what has Maria learned? First and foremost, Maria has learned to take ownership of her test preparation, seeing it as something she must actively accomplish rather than expecting her professor to pour the knowledge into her brain. Maria actively makes connections when reviewing her lecture notes. She actively seeks out her possible misunderstandings of each new concept and idea she learns from the time she begins learning it. She seeks to clarify her understanding by taking specific questions she has to the professor, teaching assistants or other course assistants. She reviews and learns from the mistakes on the formative assessments, such as quizzes, leading up to the exam. She takes notice of the way questions are framed in quizzes and class discussions and uses a similar format to create her own practice questions. Moreover, she understands how to mitigate any residual test anxiety that remains in spite of her adequate preparation. As a result, she, like Thomas, now views exams as just another exercise in demonstrating how well they have learned the class material.