"Learn to take questions step-by-step. Sometimes, the solution does not become apparent until you start taking action, by writing things down or drawing a diagram or translating words into an equation. I can't tell you how many times I've walked over to a student who asked for help only to find that he's already figured it out by himself in the few extra minutes he had to wait while I was helping someone else. It's important to always take action even if you can't visualize the full path to the solution right away.
Every top-scoring student I've seen had a cut-throat intensity when it came to beating the test. They'd rather read the passage again than have to guess. They would underline what questions were asking for. They always labeled their diagrams. Any mistake would be noted and revisited. No question was going to slip through. It's that intense attitude during practice that conditions you for success on test day.
A lot of those students, however, didn't have that attitude when they first started. That intensity was something they improved and developed over time because a high score meant a lot to them, and it's something you too can practice. Yes, you can practice being serious by taking your tests seriously."