Test Taking Tips


Test Taking Tips

Before you start your exam

  • Read all directions carefully – take note of important points.
  • Listen carefully to any oral directions given by the examiner.
  • If something is not clear, ask about it.

Read questions carefully

Be sure to read each question carefully. You may completely misunderstand what a question is asking, if you misread or skip words. Be especially careful of questions containing words like not, always, never, most, least, best.

Use your time wisely

  • Budget your time – Make sure that you allow time to try all of the questions at least once
  • Do the easy questions first. On your answer sheet make a mark by any hard questions and then go back and do them later.
  • When you finish, check the test over – use all of your time


The Ontario Security Guard Licence Exam does not have a penalty for wrong answers, so guessing is a good strategy. If you have thought about a question carefully and you are still not sure which option is correct, it’s a good idea to guess. You have nothing to lose and maybe you’ll be right!

Make sure that you answer every question even if you are not certain of the answer.

Which option to choose?

Some tips for deciding, which is the correct answer in a multiple choice test are

  • try to answer the question before looking at the choices
  • read all the choices carefully – one answer may be so-so but another may be better
  • get rid of the choices that you know are wrong – then guess between the others
  • if you are not sure which answer is right, read the stem with each option and ask, “Is this true or false?”

Combination answers

Sometimes multiple-choice tests have an option that is a combination of other options. This may be “all of the above”, “none of the above” or a combination like “a and b”.

  • Questions with a combination like “a and b”, you must think carefully about all of the options then choose the combination that shows the options that you think are right.
  • Questions that contain an “all of the above” option may seem confusing but in some ways they are actually easier. In this type of question if you know that two of the options are right then “all of the above” must be the right answer. You don’t have to be sure about the third option.
  • Questions with “none of the above” options are different. You have to know that all three of the other options are not true before choosing the “none of the above” option.

Loosen up and breathe

If you find yourself feeling stressed or stiff during a test, stop for a moment and do some quick stretches.

  • Lock your hands together, with your palms up, and stretch your arms over your head – this stretches your hands and arms and shoulders
  • Let your arms dangle at your sides and gently shake them
  • Roll your head from side to side to stretch and relax your neck

Many people get nervous before a test. When you are nervous you tend to breathe quickly and with only the top part of your lungs. This makes your body more tense and your brain foggy. You can break this cycle by reminding yourself to breathe deeply and slowly. Deep breathing relaxes you and helps you to think more clearly.

Talk to yourself

Whenever you start to put yourself down … STOP. Think of things that you have done well. Tell yourself that you have worked hard and that you can do this test. Keep your self-talk positive.

Your frame of mind can make a big difference in how you learn, how you solve problems and how well you do on a test.

Have a tiny break during the exam!

If you find yourself becoming very stressed during the test, give yourself a tiny break. Close your eyes and block the test out of your mind completely for 30 seconds. Imagine that you are on a beach or in a forest or any place where you feel safe and relaxed. Have a 30 second vacation in this place before continuing with the exam.


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