TOWES testing for Bow Valley College Learners is currently suspended.
Click here for Bow Valley College’s Response to COVID-19.
Preparing for your TOWES exam
- Attend the New Student Orientation (NSO) before you begin your program of study. Every NSO offers several sessions on Writing TOWES.
- Use your MyBVC.ca email to receive important messages from your program about the TOWES exam.
- Read the TOWES Preparation Guide before writing your TOWES exam.
- Practice some Measure-Up practice items at Levels 2 and 3 and Levels 3 and above complexity.
- Watch the Introduction to TOWES video. Find out what to expect when writing the TOWES exam and how to best prepare.
- Be sure to bring your valid, government-issued photo identification (For BVC learners, your BVC student ID is also acceptable).
- Watch the TOWES Tips for Success video.
- Remember that TOWES is not a knowledge-based exam. Some of the content and formats of information might not be familiar to you, but don't panic.
- Take your time to carefully read each question.
- Read only one question at a time. Do not rush or try to complete more than one question at a time.
- Manage your time effectively. Preview all of the questions early-on in your testing session. You will have slightly less than three hours to write the TOWES exam. Consider the time required to attempt every question.
- Attempt longer problem sets first so that you are less rushed.
- Pause your thinking if you get stuck on a problematic question. Decide to skip it over and work on another question. Before finishing your exam, remember to go back and attempt any questions that you skipped over.
- During the exam, try to identify the request for information contained within each question. Look for any relevant keywords that will help guide your search for information.
- Identify all of the important and specific criteria in the question that is directly related to your search for information. Use this known criteria to help guide your search for relevant and appropriate information in the source documents.
- Begin the process of answering the question by matching relevant and related information found within the source document.
- Remember, sometimes relevant and related information is located directly within a source document, but other times, you can can only locate it indirectly. Be prepared to perform multiple searches for the same information if you cannot find it directly.
- Choose your response carefully. Make sure your response is directly linked to the request for information found within the question. Ask yourself “Does this answer make sense based on the question?” or, “Does my answer match the format of response identified in the question?” For example, if the question is asking you to produce a number in the form of a fraction, did you answer with a decimal number? In this example, you must format your answer as a fraction to respond accurately and correctly.
- Answer questions with the highest degree of accuracy possible. This requires spending more time reading and understanding the questions. Doing so will allow you to build a series of accurate responses throughout the exam.
Strategies and skill builders
- Looking for some helpful literacy strategy refreshers before writing TOWES? You can find these in Skill Building Resources.
- For specific math concept refreshers, you can visit the Khan Academy website. Look under Mathematics in Arithmetic and Rates, Ratios, & Percentages.