Nothing is going to take the place of old-fashioned studying to help you ace that home-study massage exam. But what happens when you do everything by the book and still fail?

Many times it has nothing to do with being a bad student. Some people just aren’t good test takers. Anxiety and poor test-taking skills can cause the best of students to completely flub on exam day.

While home-study exams don’t try to give you trick questions, certain types of tests can cause you to stumble if you aren’t aware of how test makers make the questions more challenging.

Another problem is coping with test-taking anxiety. If you don’t address this issue, you will be more prone to making careless errors, fail to recall what you’ve learned in your course materials or not finish the exam on time.

However, there is hope for home-study massage students. It comes in the form of test-taking strategies. These planned strategies can help you overcome some of the stressful obstacles before you in the tests.

Remember to also read Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-part series. 

Objective-style exams made easier

  • Don’t leave any question unanswered. Answer all of the questions you know first and then spend more time on the ones you don’t. And if it’s absolutely necessary, guess.
  • Play the odds on true-and-false exams. If you are unsure or don’t know the answer on the test, answer true. Statistically, there are usually more true answers than false.
  • On true-and-false tests and multiple-choice exams, questions that have absolute statements (like all, none, always, everyone) are usually false.
  • The reverse is also true for both types of tests; questions with guarded statements (like usually, most of the time, unlikely) are usually true.
  • For any test, cross out the answers you know are incorrect. This will help you narrow down your choices and increase your chances of guessing correctly.
  • Answers that have selections for “none of the above” are often incorrect. And answers with “all of the above” are usually correct.
  • Look for the longer answers on multiple-choice exams. The questions that use the most wording and descriptive detail are usually correct.
  • Funny answer choices are typically the wrong answer. Test makers use these to make the test more entertaining.
  • If all else fails and you can’t narrow down any of the answers for a multiple-choice exam, choose B or C. Statistically, these answer choices are correct more often than other choices.

–Jeremy Maready