Knowing where to start when it comes to studying for a big exam can be a challenge. Here are 10 tips to help you prepare for a test so that you can perform your best.
1) Eliminate Distractions
Psychcentral.com suggests that finding a great place to study and removing potential distractions will help you focus and accomplish more in a single study session. Seek out quiet places like a library or coffee shop. When you get out of your house you remove the temptations to get up and get snacks, watch TV or check email. If you don’t need a computer or other device, don’t bring it. If you do need them, put your notifications and phone on silent or even avoid connecting to Wi-Fi if you can.
2) Make a Plan
Know how much time you have to prepare for your upcoming exam and make a plan for how much time you need to study and how you can divide it out over the days leading up to your exam. Having a plan will prevent procrastination and give you a clear path for studying.
3) Study at the Same Time
When you make your plan, HowToStudy.com recommends planning to study at the same time everyday. This will help your brain know that it is time to get work done. Studying at the same time every day will help you get into focused study mode faster and each session will be more productive.
4) Study in Groups
Use small groups of four or five to go over notes, quiz each other and discuss problem areas. A friend may be able to explain a difficult concept in a way that makes sense to you. Using groups can be a fun and effective way to study, but be sure to stay on track.
5) Use Rewards
To encourage focus you may want to set up a reward system. You can reward yourself for a certain amount of time spent studying. For example, if you study for an hour from 6-7, you can watch your favorite TV show at 8. Or, you can reward yourself for answering practice problems correctly or completing flash cards successfully. Use simple and quick rewards so you can get back to studying fast.
6) Start with the Most Difficult Subject First
Everyone has problem areas that they struggle with and dread working on. Education Corner reminds students to start with the hardest material first. Then you won’t have the dreaded subject hanging over your head adding stress to your study time. It will also allow you more time to work on the difficult subjects and you can attack your strong subjects with the time left over.
7) Use Memory Games
Use tools like flashcards, pneumonic devices or even mental imagery to help you remember key concepts, vocabulary or formulas. Don’t just read over your notes, instead write concepts down in a new way, make outlines or write out flashcards over and over. When you write things down, you tend to remember them better than if you just read them. Do not simply use a highlighter to go over important information in a textbook or your notes. This will not help you retain information.
8) Don’t Cram
Cramming is better than not studying at all, but it certainly won’t help you retain information in the long run. Your brain can retain much more information if you study in many shorter sessions over a longer period. Cramming will simply make you feel stressed and unprepared.
9) Practice Testing
The Washington Post reminds readers that the absolute best way to study for an exam is to take practice tests. Use problems in the back of textbooks, sample exam questions, and any other questions related to the material you can find. Practice testing will help you become familiar with the language and style of the exam, as well as help you recognize whether or not you can synthesize the material into a correct answer. Research shows practice testing is the best way to know whether or not you are prepared for an exam.
10) Make it Count
Your time is precious and you want to make every second of study time count. These 10 tips will help you effectively and efficiently prepare for a big exam!
Mr. Test Prep strives to prepare students with his Santa Clara SAT Prep program. When students engage in his Santa Clara SAT Prep program their scores reflect the hard work and dedication put forth. Call Mr. Test Prep today and be prepared!