You must be able to demonstrate mastery of all the content that is on the exam and must be prepared mentally for undertaking the task. After you have developed this deep understanding of the material, you should review these tips for efficiently and accurately getting through your math licensure exams.

**10. Read the question carefully**

Read every word of the entire question at least once. Most importantly, make sure you know what the problem is asking you to solve.

**9. Write your calculations down**

You may be great at mental math, but you are in a stressful situation and will do much better if you take the time to write things down. It will save you time if you need to check your work and will save you from making simple mistakes that are bound to happen when performing calculations in your head.

**8. Predict before you peek**

The test makers have purposely included answer choices designed to confuse you. Do not fall for their traps. Guess the answer before looking at the answer choices.

Estimating the answer first will also help you eliminate some answer choices and may give you an idea of how much work you need to do to solve the problem.

**7. Back-solve**

The nice thing about multiple-choice problems is that you know that the correct answer is sitting right there staring at you. Your job is just to find it. Well, instead of solving the problem in the traditional way, you can always back-solve. Try each of the answer choices in the original problem and see if it works. I recommend starting with the middle-value answer, and if it ends up being too big, you can eliminate that answer and all the other larger answers. You can follow a similar process if it is too small.

**6. Plug-in numbers**

Because we are used to math problems with numbers, solving abstract problems can be more challenging. Therefore, you should plug-in numbers. For example, if you have a variable in the question stem and the answer choices, plug in a reasonable value for that variable. For instance, if you had a percent problem where they don’t tell you the cost of the item, a reasonable value to plug in for the item is $100.

**5. Eliminate… then guess**

If you are running out of time or are unsure of how to approach a problem, you may be inclined to skip a question. If so, you should first make an educated guess on the answer. For example, if it is a word problem, do a quick estimate of the correct answer. You should be able to eliminate a few of the answers without performing any calculations. Then, guess between the remaining answers before moving on.

**4. Check your work**

Make sure you answered the question. Review your problem-solving notes to ensure there are no mistakes. Try plugging the answer back into original problem or equation to see if it works and makes sense.

**3. Use your time wisely**

Before your test, figure out how long you should be spending on each problem. Then, stick to it. During your preparations, check to see how well you are sticking to that timing. During the actual exam, remember that no multiple-choice problem is worth more than any other. Therefore, don’t spend so much time on any one problem that there’s not enough time for other problems.

**2. Leave no blanks**

Confirm the scoring guidelines, but keep in mind that most teacher exams do not have a penalty for guessing. Therefore, make sure to fill in an answer for every problem. You have a chance of guessing correctly, especially if you can eliminate some choices first.

**1. Relax before the test**

You need to stay sharp for the entire testing window and the best way to accomplish this is to be well rested. Give your brain a break and get a good night’s rest.