College students are more successful when they master time management, so it’s important to learn efficiently by taking quizzes the right way. Quizzes are more than just a mini-test before advancing to the next chapter or module in your course. In fact, quizzes help reinforce learning. That’s right. Quizzes are there to help you learn. Of course, this only works if you take quizzes the right way and use them as part of your study strategy. We’ll give you a breakdown here of why taking a quiz can improve your learning. Then, we’ll walk through the steps a student should go through to take a quiz the right way.
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Why Quizzes Can Improve Student Learning
At its most basic level, an online quiz assesses small chunks of learning a student achieves. However, taking a quiz does more than just test you on a chapter. Here are four ways that taking an online quiz can help you.
Positive Reinforcement To The Learning Process
When you take a quiz, you often get immediate feedback. When you answer a question correctly, it stimulates a small release of dopamine in your bloodstream. This hormone gives positive or pleasurable feelings. So, when you answer a question correctly, you get this tiny boost that will reinforce the learning process. This is the case even when you’re unsure of an answer but still get it right. This is why when you take a quiz, you should try even if it isn’t graded. If you just randomly select an answer, you don’t get the same micro-doses of happiness. Use the quiz to enjoy the learning process more.
Identifies Important Unit Topics
A quiz question and its correct answer (as well as incorrect distractors) are all usually important topics in the chapter or unit. The words in the stem of the question are critical, and the correct answer is important. It’s common for a student to overlook the importance of the incorrect answers. A quiz question that’s written well will include distractors that are relevant in the unit. Sometimes, they might almost be correct. This is why you should pay attention to the distractors as much as the correct answers, making sure you know them too.
Relieves Test Anxiety
For many college students, test anxiety is real. And, it has the power to change a letter grade. Therefore, taking a module quiz exposes you to a means of assessing your learning. But, it does so in a low-stakes way where, if you don’t pass, the consequences are minimal. This is another reason why you should take your quizzes seriously. In fact, you should treat them as similarly as you would treat taking a final test. This helps you feel more comfortable with the exam experience, reducing anxiety in the future.
Gives You Study Feedback
When you see terms you don’t fully know, it’s a feedback mechanism that you need more work in the area. When you ace a quiz, don’t take it as a sure fire means that you know all that you need to know. Make sure you’re familiar with all the concepts in the quiz questions. And confirm in your notes that you don’t have any outstanding questions you need to understand before moving on.
Steps To Take Quizzes The Right Way
Maximize your learning by following these steps on how to take a quiz. Remember, the most successful college student is the one that is great at efficient studying. When you learn how to learn, going to school gets easier and more enjoyable. Knowing how to incorporate a quiz into your study strategy will help you get good at learning.
Step 1: Read The Question
Yes, this is straightforward. But, fully read the question to make sure you understand what it’s asking. Don’t quickly scan and then guess. You want to get the most out of this assessment. If there are any words in the question you don’t understand, that’s okay. Write them down in your notes to review after you finish the test.
Step 2: Read All Choices
It’s common to quickly scan the answer options, looking for the correct one. While this is good on a final exam, remember a quiz is trying to teach you as you go. So, even if you’re able to quickly spot the correct answer, read each distractor thoroughly. As you do, also take note of any words that look unfamiliar. There might be a wrong answer that looks completely foreign to you (this is okay). And, it might not even be in the chapter. This is also okay, just make sure you write it down to review later.
Step 3: Select The Best Answer
Now you can select the best answer. If the quiz gives you immediate feedback, take notes on if you got the answer wrong. If the quiz gives you feedback after the full attempt, still go back to take notes on incorrect answers. This is why taking notes as you go is so important.
Step 4: Review Your Notes
Don’t forget this step! Now it’s time to look up everything that you wrote down during the quiz taking process. Remember, if you find a term that isn’t in the chapter, it’s okay. Because by going back through and confirming, you’re learning as you go. By reading up on your notes of difficult topics, it’s a guided review. This means it’s one of the best ways to go back through a chapter. Instead of reading someone else’s notes. The outcome of a quiz is like a personalized study session for you- so use it!
Step 5: Take The Quiz Again
A chapter quiz should be used more than once, if possible. But, do NOT take it again right away. This will give you a false sense of understanding the material. It’s very easy for your brain to memorize questions and correct answers. Instead, take the quiz once. Then go back through the material to learn what you needed help on. Then, don’t take the quiz again until you have had a break from the chapter. A good time to retake the quiz is before you move onto another lesson (assuming this is a few days later). Or, you can make it a practice to take a quiz from the week before as you enter each new week of learning. This helps with the positive reinforcement and is a good reminder that, yes, you know the info and can move on.
When you get a degree in exercise science from Lionel University, you’ve got an entire team who cares about you being successful in school and in your job. That’s what we’re here for! Regardless of what degree program you’re in (associate's degree, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree), use this guide to taking quizzes as a way to make your studying more efficient.