Tests are a big deal in college. A single test is usually 25-40 percent of a college student’s grade (give or take). The high pressure and stress can affect scores. Of course, everyone needs to study and work hard to get good grades grades, but there are small things you can do during a test to increase your score.

Follow these tips to get better grades when test-taking:

Take deep breathes

There are different relaxation methods you can do before a test to reduce anxiety and stress. Deep breathing is one you can do minutes before the test. If you do get nervous during a test, try to relax 5 minutes before it starts. Calm yourself by taking deep breathes. If you are worried and shaky during the test, it may affect concentration. Simply try to meditate and breathe so you are relaxed before you even start.

Take your timetest

Who cares if you’re the first one to hand in the test? I know I was never impressed by that person. I usually just assumed they rushed. So, take your time. It’s best to read each question carefully and be the last one out than to rush and get a lower grade.

Skip questions you are unsure about and go back to them later

If I was unsure about the answer to a question, I always liked to star it and go back to answer it before turning in the test. Believe it or not, the answer just might come to you once the wheels in your brain start spinning as you’re taking the test. This happened to me a lot during test-taking. If I stopped and thought about the question or problem for a few minutes and worked it out in my head, I suddenly had the answer. It’s amazing how the memory works…take advantage of it!

Check your answers

If you have time, go back through the test, re-read questions and check your answers. It sounds so simple. Most of us learned this in elementary school, but it seems once we get to college, we forget one of the most basic things that could improve our test grade. I know plenty of times that I’ve read a question wrong and realized it once I re-read it. I’ve also caught myself when I’ve circled the wrong answer accidentally. Every time you take a test, just assume this will happen and double-check.

With test taking, there are a few small strategies you can follow to slightly improve your grade. Sure, these tips won’t determine whether you pass or fail a test, but they will most likely help you get a few more answers correct on the test.

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