The Splashdown Method

If you get tense while taking a test, much of the material you have learned gets "jammed up" in your mind. It doesn't get where it needs to be – on your test paper.

One good way to prevent an "information jam" is to keep the information flowing. In order to maintain this flow, you must get the information you have learned onto the test paper as quickly as possible. This is accomplished by using the Splashdown Method. This method gets information out of your head and onto the paper where you can use it.

The Splashdown Method begins with the moment the instructor hands you a test, that moment when the tension really starts to build.

  1. Under no circumstances are you to look at the test paper. Do not even glance at it when the instructor hands it to you. Immediately turn the test face down on your desk or table.

  2. On the back of the test paper, "splash down." Splashing down simply means writing as fast and as furiously as you can all of the terms, phrases, abbreviations, and little memory hooks you can think of. If you are about to take a math test, jot down a few formulas, or work a quick problem.

    This splashdown should take no more than one or two minutes. When you have completed it, you should have a great deal of information on the back of your test, information that you can use when it's needed.

  3. Turn the test over, read the instructions carefully, then write your name on the paper.

  4. Read each question and answer it to the best of your knowledge. Use the splashdown information to help you recall material.

The Splashdown Method serves two very useful purposes for you as a test taker.

  1. It gives you a ready source of information you can use for reference during a test.

  2. It is an excellent way to relieve tension.