- About BCI
December 4th, 2014
The American Test Anxieties Association estimates that 16 to 20 percent of students suffer from high-test anxiety, a problem that affects memory, confuses reasoning, and increases the chances of making a mistake. In fact, these students typically perform about half a letter grade below those who have lower anxiety levels.
As a bookkeeping student, you may be asking yourself, “What can I do to ace my next exam?” Aside from getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet, and lots of studying, here are a few tips to help you sharpen your test-taking skills.
It can sometimes be difficult to put things into context when reading a textbook, especially if you’re a kinesthetic learner (i.e. “hands-on” learner). In preparation of your bookkeeping exam, it’s a good idea to actually work out practice problems beforehand, paying close attention to how and why items are handled a certain way—and the more you do the better. This will ensure your understanding of the course material so you don’t find yourself panicking during the test, and it will help you establish a process for solving problems so you can make the best use of your time.
“You need to be practicing pretty much every day, and you have to have a decent familiarity with the math,” says Jeff Sackmann, a test-taking expert and author of multiple GMAT preparation books.
Rushing the exam can lead to silly mistakes, so you might want to glance over the entire test before you begin so you can keep a steady pace. Start with the easy questions first then move onto the ones that are more difficult, says Sandra Roberson, a CPA and associate professor of business and accounting at Furman University. There’s nothing worse than spending too much time on a question that you don’t know, says Roberson, so save those for last.
According to Dan Gonzalez, president of Manhattan Prep, a test preparation company, you can do your practice problems and exams with a stopwatch to help you gauge your efficiency.
In a multiple-choice exam, it’s common for test-takers to keep their first answer even when another option seems better—it’s that “go with your first gut instinct.” But changing an answer from wrong to right outnumbers changing from right to wrong by 2-to-1, says Justin Kruger, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois who co-authored a study about the effects of changing test answers.
In the study, researchers counted the number of erasure marks for 1,561 University of Illinois students during an introductory psychology midterm exam. The study revealed that 51 percent of students who changed their answers went from wrong to right while 25 percent went from right to wrong. Anther 23 percent changed their answers from wrong to wrong.
While many professors and exam proctors say you should never change your answers, research suggests that this rarely pays off.