Statistics and math tests usually only contain number problems. Likewise, tests for physics, chemistry, and accounting classes usually contain numerous word and number problems.
When points are not deducted for calculation errors, spend most of your time properly setting up the problem. However, when calculation errors result in point losses, write legible numbers. Use scratch paper to work through problems, and then recopy each step neatly with the answer on the test sheet. Be sure that the proper measurement units are included with the final answer. Complete calculations with a calculator if you’re allowed to, and manage time wisely to recheck answers before handing in the test.
Organize Your Work
Write down all the variables and numbers provided in the question. Next, determine what the question is asking you to calculate and the formula needed to find the correct answer. Quickly estimate the final answer before working through the problem.
Use All Information Given in the Problem
The data required to find the correct answer is typically provided within the question.
Study Visual Aids Carefully
Carefully review all graphs and charts included with the problem. Pay close attention to graph origins, axes intervals, and measurement units.
Students often make the mistake of quitting when they forget formulas or struggle setting up problems. When this happens, replace variables with numbers to simplify the problem and apply real-world scenarios to the problem. When struggling with fractions, use rounded numbers or convert them into decimals.
For Multiple Choice Tests
Some tests with number problems contain multiple choice questions. Students are required to solve a problem and choose the correct answer. When answering these questions, refrain from looking at the answer options before solving the problem. Using this strategy will diminish biases. However, if you’re clueless about the problem, examine the answer options and make an educated estimate. Eliminate extremely high and low value answers if you must guess.
Check Your Answers
Set aside time to review your answers and reread instructions and questions. Double-check all question parts to ensure they have been answered and correct measurement units have been used. Also check your final answers to ensure they seem right, and compare initial estimates with final answers. Utilize other methods to check problems with remaining time. Likewise, double-check calculations with a calculator. When re-checking problems with inequalities, replace current numbers with new ones to check for accuracy.