Time-Tested Tactics for Tackling Tough Tests
Preparing for exams can be stressful. After all, there is a lot of material to learn and remember for the test. Doing your best is important, especially for finals or AP exams that carry a heavier weight on your academic record. Here are three time-tested tactics to help you master exam season.
Make a Study Schedule
When it comes to studying, scheduling your time is a must. Otherwise, it is too easy to put off studying until the last minute. The flip side of that issue is that you might worry that you have to spend every waking moment studying. There is a balance to be had, and building a study schedule will help ensure that you have enough time to review everything while still having time for guilt-free fun.
To make a study schedule, start from your test date and count back to today to determine how many days are left. On a calendar, block out any events or commitments that you already have, like classes, work or extracurricular activities. Then, break the subject down into individual topics and schedule specific topics into each study day. Alternatively, you can use an online tool or mobile app to create a study schedule.
There are two main types of studying: passive and active. Passive studying involves activities like reading, highlighting or copying notes–essentially any activity where you are taking in the information that you are trying to learn. Active studying requires you to recall information without it being in front of you. This is the more effective method of studying as it reinforces neuron connections in your brain.
There are a lot of active studying techniques. Some common ones are drawing mind maps from memory on a piece of blank paper or using flashcards and practice tests. A practice test will help you identify any major weaknesses that you might have so you can study smarter. Instead of continuing to review everything, you can spend the rest of your study time focusing on any material that you are weak on.
Beat Test Anxiety
A major obstacle preventing a lot of students from doing their best on exams is test anxiety. One of the most common tips for reducing anxiety is to start studying early, which a study schedule will help with. It is also important to remember that a test does not define you nor dictate your entire academic future. Applying positive thoughts to the exam scenario can help alleviate some exam anxiety.
There are many resources available to help with reducing anxiety, including guided meditation. You can find resources online or through your school’s counseling office.
Applying these tips to your next exam preparation routine can help you excel and achieve your academic goals. Make sure to devote enough time to studying for the best results.