You don’t have to study all night, or spend hours and hours of mind numbing study to do well on a test. You just have to study smart. Studying smart means studying efficiently and productively. The way you study can have a significant impact on your overall exam score.
Study the Tough Stuff First
It is easy to review the things you already know. It can feel good to get practice problems right or nail your flashcards. While this can be a good review and confidence booster, don’t put off the difficult material. Start with your hardest topics first. Then, you can focus most of your energy and time on working through the things that might give you the most trouble on the exam. Boost your confidence by mastering all of the material, not just the things that come easy.
Study A Few Minutes Daily
Set aside a few minutes every day to go over your notes. If there is anything that doesn’t make sense, you will have plenty of time to ask your teacher about it and get help. For any facts, equations, dates, or other material you need to memorize, you can can make a flashcard. Keep your set of flashcards with you. You can work on committing things to memory long before the night before the test. The more regularly you practice, the easier it will be to recall material on the day of the exam.
Don’t study without any breaks. Breaks will reenergize you and help you maintain focus so that you can get your work done productively. Studies suggest a break at least every ninety minutes to prevent your brain from becoming fatigued. Try to use your break to do something active, stretch, or grab a healthy snack. Sitting during your break may contribute to a groggy, lethargic feelings.
Make a Plan
Don’t just sit around and look at your books or doodle on your notes. Make a logical plan for studying. Set aside a few minutes every day for study and review so you won’t have to cram. Plan to start with the most difficult topics first. Don’t overdo it. Make sure your brain has time to rest and refocus so that you can be effective as possible.