Stop Thinking You’re Not a Good Test Taker!


A student who thinks they’re “just not a good test taker” will always underperform on standardized tests. ALWAYS. It’s an awful mindset to have, and not for mystical, intangible reasons: people perform worse on tasks on which they think they’ll fail. Here’s how it works on standardized tests:

The purpose of standardized tests is to separate students along a spectrum (it’s not to measure your intelligence). To do this, test makers have to disguise questions so that they’re a little confusing: they can’t just ask straightforward questions in straightforward ways.

When a confident student sees a confusing question, they think “I can get this, I just have to work through it.” And they do. When an insecure, “I’m just not a good test taker” student sees a confusing question, they think “I knew I wouldn’t do well,” and they give up. But those confusing questions aren’t all that difficult once you get through the confusing part, so insecure students give up on a lot of questions they could have answered correctly.

If the above describes you, you need to change your attitude. Here’s how you do it:

First, know that many people adopt this identity to protect their ego, because doing poorly on standardized tests makes them feel dumb, and no one likes to feel dumb. IT makes sense. Thinking this way was a rational decision you made because you didn’t have other information. But there are better explanations for why you’ve struggled. For example, did you know that you have to approach a standardized test differently from a school exam? Most people don’t. Have you gotten feedback on the exact types of questions you need to work on? Most people haven’t. Are you sure you’re pacing yourself correctly and that you’re checking your work? Most students aren’t.

You struggled on your exam not because you weren’t a good test taker, but because no one ever taught you how to take a standardized test. If no one ever taught you how to throw a frisbee, you wouldn’t be good at that, either, and not because “you just weren’t good at frisbee.” You could learn to throw a frisbee, just like you can learn to take a standardized test.

This is what Biometric Edge can teach you. We can show you the mistakes you’re making when taking an exam, including pacing and whether you’re checking your work. We can show you the topics on which you’re strong and the ones on which you need more work. You can see the exact types of questions that give you the most trouble. You’ll finally get the information you need to be a good test taker, and you’ll see that you can excel on standardized tests.

To your success!

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