Use your erasable white board to make notes.
Using your provided erasable white board can help you organize your thoughts, keep key ideas straight in your mind, and prevent careless errors. When reading a passage of text, consider jotting down words and phrases that are essential to understanding the passage's ideas. For lengthy or confusing text passages, write notes or make brief outlines on your erasable white board (which will be provided). During the portion of the Mathematical Reasoning Test for which a calculator is not allowed, perform all but the simplest computations on your erasable white board.
When answering a question based on visual information, size up the visual first.
Many questions on the Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies tests contain visual information (graphs, charts, illustrations, diagrams, and so forth). Inspect any such “visual” carefully. Try to understand what the visual involves and what its overall intent and meaning is. Be sure to read any title or caption, which may provide clues for answering the question at hand.
Make sure you understand the question.
Read each question carefully so you know exactly what it is asking. Pay attention to key words such as true, accurate, supports, probably, and most likely. These words tell you the features to look for in the correct answer choice. Also look for words in capital letters such as NOT, LEAST, EXCEPT, and CANNOT. These capitalized words tell you that the question is being asked in the negative. (Note that these and other key words may also appear in boldface.) If a question is based on a passage of text, read the question stem (the question itself, apart from the answer choices) before you read the passage so you have an idea of what to look for in the passage.
Attempt to answer the question in your own words before reading the answer choices.
If you can formulate your own answer to a question, by all means do so. Then you can simply look for the answer choice that best matches what you already know is correct. What's more, you'll waste less time trying to understand the other choices, which can often be confusing and even nonsensical.
Read all the answer possibilities carefully.
The first answer choice you read might appear to provide a good answer, but by reading further you may discover that there is a better choice. Never select a final answer before reading and carefully considering all choices. For drop-down items, be sure to read each option as it fits into the sentence, and do not just read it on its own.
Select an answer choice that answers the question being asked.
This may seem obvious, but you should be careful not to choose an answer merely because it provides accurate information or a true statement, or because it is supported by information given in a passage of text or a visual. If the answer does not respond to the question, eliminate it.
Try to eliminate as many incorrect answer choices as possible.
Many questions will come with answer choices that are wrong because they provide the opposite of what the question asks for. For instance, a question that asks which statement is best supported by the text will probably come with at least two choices that are contradicted by the text. Some wrong-answer choices might be off topic, meaning that they convey ideas that are not relevant to the specific topic orthe question. If you're paying attention, you can easily spot these sorts of answer choices and eliminate them to improve your odds of answering the questions correctly.
Apply common sense and common knowledge to your advantage.
Many questions may involve concepts and topics that are unfamiliar to you. You can use your real-life, practical knowledge and common sense to help you answer many such questions—or at least to narrow the answer choices.
Answer every question, even if you need to guess.
Your score on each of the four tests is determined by the number of questions you answer correctly. You won't be penalized for incorrect answers, so you should never leave a question unanswered. If you don't know the answer, just guess—you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Pace yourself to leave enough time for reviewing your answers.
Don't be a constant clock-watcher, but do check the time every so often to make sure you are on pace to read and answer all questions within the time allowed. Try to maintain a pace that leaves you at least 5 minutes to return to those questions you were unsure about and reconsider them.