Author Topic: How do I take a test with a low time limit?  (Read 2547 times)

StartingEarly

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How do I take a test with a low time limit?
« on: January 21, 2016, 11:46:00 PM »
I have a test coming up for a job that is really intense. Like thirty seconds for some problems and chart reading of one problem every five seconds for the other. I'm looking for any kind of edge, how to bubble quicker, how to read a chart or graph quicker, math tricks for simple algebra to do that quicker. It's mainly the time crunch, it's designed so most people can't finish most sections.

PowerMustache

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Re: How do I take a test with a low time limit?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2016, 12:12:05 AM »
Hard to give any specific advice without knowing the particulars of the test, but I've always been a good at standardized tests and generally speaking here's a few of my go-to tips:

Practice as many problems as possible that are exactly like the ones you'll find on the test. If time is short it's about perfecting the process, not just knowing the material. Repetition helps with the speed.
Skip any problems that you don't immediately know how to approach and come back to them at the end (if the test format allows).
Charts and graphs: practice looking first at the title of the chart, second at the axis labels, then read the question, then go back to the graph. Or some other similar process that you can repeat and makes sense to you.
There are lots of little algebra tricks but harder to convey that over a forum, and if the test is coming up soon you're probably better served by practicing the tricks you already know than learning new tricks.

bobechs

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Re: How do I take a test with a low time limit?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2016, 12:31:03 AM »
When in doubt, choose B.

You'll do better than the average Texas A&M scholarship athlete.

Not on the field necessarily, but on the score sheet for sure.

syednaeemul

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Re: How do I take a test with a low time limit?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2016, 12:54:00 AM »
Is this for a pre-interview screening quiz? I remember doing something similar, 20mins to do 120 questions. Beyond PowerMustache's tips, there are two strategies you can take:
-Blitz through the questions intelligently i.e. if it looks easy, do the question, otherwise pick a random answer and move on
-Go at your own pace but make sure you answer at 100%

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: How do I take a test with a low time limit?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2016, 02:53:57 AM »
Can't figure out what test you're taking but these may be useful:

Practice doing anything timed so that you can quickly focus on getting down to work (Ilike sodoku, but whatever works for you)
Learn/review speed/distance/time calculations and short cuts (travel a mile a minute at 60 mph, half a mile at 30 mph)
If it's multiple choice, don't try to solve an equation, look at the answers and eliminate the ones it can't be
Check what the scoring is - do you lose points for incorrect answers? - if not spend the last 30 seconds flicking through and answering B
If it's a computer based test, spend some time touch typing on a keyboard/ABCD board/number keypad that is as similar to the one you will use for the test.
If there are word answers, check over any words that you normally type/spell wrong, but normally let autocorrect fix.
Make sure your times tables to 10x10 are shit hot, and look over some of the higher ones, and maybe square numbers so you can estimate how big an answer should be (for multiple choice).
Check over conversion values and constants if crazy old imperial units/newfangled metric units are likely to make an entrance
Is there a reddit thread or career specific forum that might have more specific info on what to expect in the test.

Tricks for eliminating wrong MC answers quickly:
If the answer is a multiple of 3, the sum of the digits is a multiple of 3
Odd/even last digit
How big the answer should be (look out for / learn prefixes like milli, Giga, kilo etc)
Addition/subtraction/multiplication - look at the last digit of the answer first

Axecleaver

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Re: How do I take a test with a low time limit?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2016, 12:40:50 PM »
A game theory question! My favorite.

You need a strategy for which questions to skip. If you skip a question, can you come back to it? If you can, be aggressive and if you can't answer it in about half the average time for a question, skip it. Your second pass through, you'll have some sense for which questions were "kinda hard" vs "impossible." Your eval on difficulty needs to be FAST- don't spend 30 seconds evaluating whether to skip it.

Next, figure out if it's better to guess wrong or pass on the question. You need to understand the scoring methodology. Be sure you know the scoring hierarchy and when to guess (can you eliminate a choice?), and when to skip a question.

If you cannot skip questions, it gets a bit harder. Super long questions that have a lot of words to read are probably best skipped, regardless of difficulty.

pbkmaine

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How do I take a test with a low time limit?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2016, 12:57:24 PM »
A game theory question! My favorite.

You need a strategy for which questions to skip. If you skip a question, can you come back to it? If you can, be aggressive and if you can't answer it in about half the average time for a question, skip it. Your second pass through, you'll have some sense for which questions were "kinda hard" vs "impossible." Your eval on difficulty needs to be FAST- don't spend 30 seconds evaluating whether to skip it.

Next, figure out if it's better to guess wrong or pass on the question. You need to understand the scoring methodology. Be sure you know the scoring hierarchy and when to guess (can you eliminate a choice?), and when to skip a question.

If you cannot skip questions, it gets a bit harder. Super long questions that have a lot of words to read are probably best skipped, regardless of difficulty.

+1. This how I have always taken tests and I generally score in the top 1%. If practice tests are available, take as many as you can, under test conditions. This gets you used to the experience. When you get to the test, be prepared to read the first few questions and panic, because you have no clue what the answers are. Breathe deeply. This happens to everyone.

StartingEarly

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Re: How do I take a test with a low time limit?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2016, 09:33:02 PM »
It's the dreaded EEI POSS/MOSS. I have already found out about as much as I could find on google and going through forums like nukeworker.

The scoring on this test is ambiguous and varies from company to company, most say to never guess because most people say that wrong answers count heavily negative, others say that's not the case, it's a guarded industry secret, someone claiming to have administered tests that goes on nukeworker says that wrong answers are just wrong and not negative, I have nothing to back that up though, some people said their proctor said one way, some the other. The actual test has multiple forms and versions it could be.

I am mainly working on speed drills and getting practice with concepts I am not familiar with, the categories are as follows.

Assembly-I did fairly well on them, but the test is reported to be harder, I am having trouble finding quality study material, the spatial book I got from the library is less than worthless due to poor printing and object sizes and angles.

Mechanical Concepts-I did very well on this, finished in time with only one wrong out of 26, the real test is reported to be harder

Tables and graphes-I am working on speed drills for these, graphs are very fast (5sec per answer, I am at about 6.66), graphs I am up to around 11/14 in the two minutes

Reading comprehension-no issues

Mathematical usage-up to around 37/38 in the time allowed, however the test has more questions in a similar time frame and I have memorized some of the test unfortunately so I can't use that as a great reference, no calculator, notes or anything other than their supplied scratch paper allowed, working on building speed, trying to learn tricks, I am fairly good at math, but used a calculator since my most recent math is college physics, I am practicing long division, basic algebra, and memorizing my basic multiplication tables, there is a conversion section and I am trying to memorize the types of units people have reported on the test so I don't have to take time referencing a chart and can skip steps ie: how many tablespoons are in two gallons: memorized 256 tablespoons per gallon instead of using their conversion which is likely tablespoons to cups or similar, so I can just take 256 times two for 512 tablespoons

This is a general idea of what the test is and where I am at with it, sorry it's so long winded, was trying to be very specific, test is on the morning of the 30th

pbkmaine

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StartingEarly

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Re: How do I take a test with a low time limit?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2016, 06:21:35 AM »
Thanks, but those are the identical practice tests to the ones I was sent by the company that is hosting the test.