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Home > Resources > Test > DETER Method

Taking Tests Using DETER Method

To do well on tests it is useful to use a strategy. The DETER strategy for test taking is designed to help students to show what they know while taking a test. However, the DETER strategy for test taking ONLY works if you have a good knowledge of the information that is being tested. You must come prepared to any test if you expect to do well. Each of the letters in DETER stands for word. The following is the DETER strategy broken down into its parts.

D = Direction

The first thing you should when starting a test is read the directions carefully. Make sure you understand the directions. If you have any questions about what the directions mean make sure to ask your teacher to explain them to you. If you do not follow the directions carefully you will not achieve a good score. So many students who have a good knowledge of the information being tested receive a bad grade because they neglected to carefully read the directions before answering the test questions.

E = Examine

Review the entire test before you start answering questions to see long the test is and how much work you have to do. Only when you know how much you have to do can you break the test down into manageable parts. Many well prepared students do not do well on tests because they do not finish. Examining the entire test before you start will help you to know how much time you can dedicate to each question.

T = Time

Once you have examined the entire test and know long it is you need to decide how much time to spend on each question. It is always a good idea to allocate the most time to those questions that are worth the most points. Dedicate the least amount of time to those questions are not worth as much. This is especially important when taking an essay test or a timed test.

E = Easiest

The second E in DETER stands for easiest. Allows answer the easiest questions first. Once you’ve answered all the easy questions you should move on to the more difficult questions. By answering the easiest questions first you ensure that you don’t spend too much time on the hard questions and run out of time before answering the easy questions.

R = Review

Whenever possible leave yourself enough time to review your questions before handing in your test. This will help you make sure that you answered each question completely and accurately. It also a good idea to review the directions again just to make sure you followed them.

Having a good knowledge of the information being tested combined with the DETER strategy for test taking will help you get the best grade possible on every test you take.

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