Study Tips for Students Taking Tests
By: Derick Yung
You're in the thick of the school year. It seems like there are so many things going on, like assignments, projects, and extracurricular activities. Now a test is coming up and you've got to do well on it. How should you study so you do better on that test?
First of all, when you study for a test, you shouldn't be learning something completely new. It is faster and easier to recall something you have already learned than to learn something completely new. After each day of classes, it is a good idea to review everything you have learned. It doesn't have to be a long review either. Simply jog through the day's topics. That way, you give your brain another chance to soak up the information. Hopefully, this review will make future studying less time consuming and less of a learning process.
Where you study is important. Find a place that's readily available with minimal distractions. A popular place to study is home. However, for some, home can be too distracting as it is easy to get sidetracked. What may help is if you study in a place that's similar to the place where you're going to take the test. When you study, you might associate certain topics with the environment. So if you take the test in a similar environment, you can more easily retrieve these associations. For example, if you're going to write a test in a gymnasium, it may help to study in a gymnasium.
Some people study well in a group since they can get help from others in areas in which they are lacking. They may also gain insight from others on what they have overlooked and which areas to focus on for the test. On the other hand, some people study well alone. They know what they have to study. Also, a group can be distracting as they engage in off-topic conversation or try to do everything but study. You're the one who knows yourself the best, so determine what works best for you.
There are a variety of methods you can use when studying. For example, when studying for a test, you can do different things, like reading through your textbook, reading through course notes, answering textbook questions, redoing past assignments, reviewing previous tests, researching online, talking with others, and more. You can also use memory-improving techniques like mnemonics, visualization, and association. Try a combination of different studying methods and track your results.
A method that works well for most people is studying in small pieces instead of large blocks of time. Studying in large blocks of time increases the chance that you will overwhelm your brain with information and start forgetting things. If you study in small pieces of time, you aren't absorbing all of this information at once and get chances to rest. Furthermore, you should rehearse what you study and do it in expanding time intervals. For example, if you study ten digits of PI, you could attempt to rehearse the ten digits in one minute, then two minutes, then four minutes, and so on.
In addition, state of being is important for studying. It has been shown that if you study while intoxicated, you will do better if you take the test while intoxicated. If you study while sober, you will do better if you take the test while sober. The sober case showed better results than the intoxicated case. Thus it's better to stay away from the drinks while studying and while taking the test.
Finally, make sure you eat healthy and get a good night's sleep before the test. If you think there is not enough time to sleep, take a look at some time management tips so you can help use and manage your time more efficiently.
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