Before the Exam
1. Begin your final preparation about a month before the exam. Start with taking one of the sample tests in this study guide to identify either subjects or time periods that you need to review in more detail.
2. Devote the week before the exam to reviewing the information in this study guide on the format and analysis of exam areas; review your notes one more time.
3. Relax the evening before the exam, and get a good night’s sleep. Trying to cram a year’s worth of reading and studying into one night is a waste of time.
Taking the Exam
4. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the test location early.
5. Remember to bring all the materials you need for the exam — admission ticket, identification, two Number 2 pencils with good erasers, and two good-quality, medium-tip ballpoint pens with blue or black ink.
6. Listen carefully to the instructions of the proctor, and follow the directions in the test booklets.
7. On the multiple-choice section, make sure to read each of the questions carefully and completely; underline or make notes to clarify the questions.
8. Avoid wild guessing. If you don’t know the answer, clearly mark it so that you can come back to it later.
9. Use the fifteen-minute reading period to make notes on the DBQ and documents, outline your answer, and review the standard essays.
10. Write your essays to inform, not to impress the reader; pay attention to organizing the essays as tightly as possible.
11. Don’t panic if you draw a complete blank as soon as you open the test booklet. Take a deep breath, and the panic will pass.