In this article, you will know the proven strategies that have helped students prepare more effectively for exams and improve test scores.
Don’t Cram. Don’t Procrastinate.
Most experts will agree, cramming is not effective at all. According to UCLA professor of psychiatry Andrew Fuligni, cramming causes students to sacrifice sleep time to study. While knowledge is required to perform well on a test, sleep is critical for academic success. The best way to prepare yourself for the test is to give yourself enough time to study. It’s best to start preparing long before the day of a test. Be sure to complete reading assignments on time and review lecture notes frequently. Dedicate more time to the midterm or final exams as they are often more critical and demanding.
Plan Your Study Time
Plan your study time and amend your study schedule to meet your needs. It’s easy for other activities to take precedence over studying, so be sure to make time for studying. We recommend preparing a term calendar, weekly and daily schedule that includes regular study sessions. After forming a plan of study sessions, make sure you stick with them.
Watch for Clues
Most teachers have a methodology for preparing test questions and tend to use similar methods each time they make a test. Watch for clues your teacher might give about possible test formats and questions. We recommend participating in test review sessions and never be ashamed to ask questions about unclear concepts.
Ask Your Teacher for Direction
We suggest asking your teacher directly about the best method to study for the test. Most teachers are open to sharing with students some suggestions, even secrets, as to how best to prepare for their exams. Don’t hesitate to ask your teacher about what topics or subjects you’ll be tested on during the exam, even what types of questions might be.
Arrive Early on Test Day
You might gather more information about the test when you arrive early. One instance, when I was early on the day of my exam, I heard my teacher answering a question asked to him by another student looking for some clarification on test subject matter. My teacher said to this student to don’t stress about that as very little of the test covers that material. Knowing that information allowed me to focus my remaining minutes of study on subject matter that was likely to be on the exam.
Arriving early also lets you seek further understanding or clarification from the instructor. It’s an excellent opportunity to gain additional test preparation and knowledge. The teacher may offer other tips, insight, or instruction before the start of the test.
Stay Hydrated and Use the Bathroom
Before the test starts, be sure to use the bathroom. A visit to the restroom during the test can waste precious time, and in many occasions, students are not allowed to leave a room once a test starts. It can also distract your concentration and be extremely uncomfortable. However, it would be best if you also stay hydrated. Bring a bottle of water with you to the exam if possible.