AUPAR: A Test Prep Strategy

Test Taking Skills for Students: AUPAR Strategy
Many students are quite bright, yet their performance on tests does not reflect their knowledge. For some students, teaching them simple test prep skills can bridge this performance gap. One very successful strategy for helping students perform better on tests is teaching them a simple acronym that helps them take the necessary steps to study well.


  • Assemble all the relevant information from the unit: notes, handouts, textbook chapter(s), etc.
  • Organize the information in a way that makes sense to you. Perhaps place it in a binder or folder so that it will stay together.


  • Underline or highlight all of the key ideas, main points, or anything your teacher told you to take special note of.
  • Take care not to go crazy with the highlighting. Try to highlight only those things you know are of importance.


  • Fold your paper in half lengthwise. On one side of the paper, write down questions that you predict will be on the test.
  • Think about your teacher and the types of tests he/she usually gives. Are they short answer, multiple choice, true/false? Try to model your questions after those that you think your teacher will ask.


  • On the other side of your folded paper, record your answers to the questions your predicted.
  • Use the document you created to quiz yourself.


  • Review the questions and answers over and over until you know them by heart by keeping the paper folded in half as you try to answer and then unfolding to check your accuracy.
  • Once you are confident that you know the answer to one of the questions, cross it off and focus on those you don’t know as well.

Teaching students the AUPAR strategy gives them the basic tools to study effectively. Of course, they must be willing to put in the time and effort to learn the material, but perhaps having a clear idea of how to get started will motivate them to do so.

Stay tuned for future posts in our Test Taking Series.