Assessment testing has become part of our lives, and some of this testing is high stakes. From assessments to evaluate the capability of potential employees to SAT and other tests for admission to a college or educational program, testing is rampant. There are some strategies that you can use to put your best foot forward on assessment tests.

Find out about the topics and format of the test. Some questions you might ask are, "Is there a writing sample, or is it all multiple choice?" and "What are the topics covered by the test?" Other formats include sentence completion, objective questioning and matching.

Learn to identify easy questions that you will complete first on the test. These include objective or literal questions that simply ask for a factual answer. Other questions may ask you to infer something or form a personal, interpretive response.

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Prepare for assessment testing by completing back tests or sample questions, if they are available. Use the results to identify what you know, what you need to brush up on and what you have little or no familiarity with. Spend the most time on the latter category.

Refresh your skills before the assessment test. This may mean graphing a few equations for math students or boning up on a particular software program for a potential employee

Practice for an essay test by reviewing the essay format. This includes thinking up a title that reflects the main idea, formulating a thesis statement, stating several main points to support the thesis and presenting specific information. People grading an essay will look for elements like an introduction and conclusion, transition words and mechanics. In preparation for the test, you may want to create some outlines to reinforce your essay writing skills and to become faster at the process.

Review your class notes or professional literature by setting a regular time and place for study in a well-lit, quiet and ventilated space. Studying with a friend or study group can also be motivating and helpful.

Attend a workshop on test-taking skills. These workshops might emphasize study skills and test-taking strategies like budgeting your time, writing down key facts during the test and looking for qualifying words. Workshops may also help you deal with test anxiety.


  • Get plenty of rest the night before the test, take a shower and arrive early for testing to calm anxiety.


  • Don't skip breakfast on the day of the test.
  • Leave plenty of time for studying.
  • Don't leave answers blank. Guess.

About the Author

Sharon Penn is a writer based in South Florida. A professional writer since 1981, she has created numerous materials for a Princeton advertising agency. Her articles have appeared in "Golf Journal" and on industry blogs. Penn has traveled extensively, is an avid golfer and is eager to share her interests with her readers. She holds a Master of Science in Education.