You ever get that feeling like you just did OK on a test but when you compare answers with your classmates, you weren’t even close? Or maybe you just fell short for your expectations.
Maybe you just need to learn how to prepare for a test like the pros. Don’t waste time and energy if you aren’t going to do it right.
Today we’re going to give you tips on how to prepare for an examination of any kind. Read ahead for the essentials of exam preparedness.
How To Prepare For a Test
Here is our list of must-see exam tips. Don’t take a big test without looking it over.
1. Know What You’re In For
Preparing for a test like a driver’s license exam isn’t the same as taking the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
Legendary Chinese strategist and philosopher said that if you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a thousand battles. You can apply the same concepts when studying for a test.
You need to know what is going to be on the test, where to find study material, and, of course, when the test is going to be. Most importantly, you need to be honest with yourself and know how ready you truly are. See more here if you’re preparing for the TASC exam.
2. Create a Timeframe
Rome wasn’t built in a day. And you’ll never be able to prepare for a big test in a day either. Sometimes we have no choice, but we should always prepare days, weeks, and in some cases, months before the test date.
Ideally, you should make a plan. For example, if your test is 2 weeks away, you should know what you are going to do during week 1, week 2, and the day before the test.
There are plenty of ways to divide your time. The correct method depends on how much time you have, the amount of material, and your personal preferences.
3. Don’t Procrastinate
So, you got a bit of time between now and your test. Many students taking boards exams and other tests often have many months and even years before test day.
It can be difficult but it is important that you take advantage of your time. If you put in the work now when you have time to study relatively stress-free, you will be thanking us earlier.
Dealing With Distractions
Distractions are all around us. They could take the form of social media, video games, friends, and other things.
If you’re not careful, seemingly harmless ‘breaks’ could turn into hours and days of lost study time. If you want to know how to pass examination, you have to deal with them.
Turn the phone on silent, not vibrate. Or better yet, put it away altogether. You’re not going to miss anything if you’re not mindlessly scrolling for a while.
4. Prepare Your Study Area
You might be tempted to lie down in bed eating while you look over your notes. Your friend is watching TV next to you but if they lower the volume a tad, you won’t be distracted, right?
Wrong. Studies show that we have a low attention span. We are quite easy to distract.
To study, we need a clean, quiet place where we won’t be interrupted. Ideally, you won’t study in the same place you sleep, eat, or play. This helps condition you to enter study mode as soon as you enter the room.
5. Use More Than One Study Method
We want to know how to pass. Exam shows us don’t really know how to study. Not all study methods were created equally. We know that some are definitely more effective than others.
That doesn’t mean that you should only use one technique. Using a variety of methods activates different parts of the brain to help you integrate and remember the information.
6. Pomodoro Technique
Studying is tiring. It is good for your study effort to take breaks.
We’re not saying you take the weekend off to go party. However, consider using some variation of the Pomodoro Technique. Originally made in the 1800s, it consists of working for 25-minute blocks (called pomodoros) followed by 5-minute breaks.
Once the quick break is up, it’s back to the books. This method keeps you busy just give you a chance to recollect and stay focused.
7. It’s Dangerous to Go Alone
Many of us have a special area at home where we like to study. Or maybe we are taking an online class. This can make studying in a group difficult.
However, study mates keep us motivated and help us study in different ways. This reinforces learning.
8. Body Moving
Needless to say, it’s hard to excel academically if you don’t take care of your body. The connection between mind, body, and soul is especially evident here.
Physical exercise is essential to achieving optimal health. Getting enough workouts in your weekly routine can help you on the exam day in a number of ways.
For starters, exercise has been shown to increase memory retention, recall, and even boost your cognitive function. Plus, this habit can have a positive effect on mood and sleep patterns, which brings us to our next point.
9. Get Enough Sleep
The science is undeniable. Getting enough sleep is good for your grades.
The link between sleep, learning, and memory has long been a topic of research. Rapid eye movement (REM) and slow-wave sleep (SWS) are two phases of sleep associated with learning a memory.
In order to reach these stages, it is best to have a full 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep (hopefully) at night. Avoid drinking caffeine, energy drinks, or other beverages that will interfere with sleeping.
10. Stay Calm and Be Positive
Taking a test can be extremely nervewracking. Some of us really just strive for excellence but sometimes we have a lot riding on the results, such as jobs or scholarships.
Regardless, anxiety can often accumulate in students as they get ready for exams. Don’t ignore the signs of stress, anxiety, and/or depression.
If you ever feel like the stress is getting to you, know that you aren’t alone. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or, better yet, a medical professional.
Studying the Smart Way
As we mentioned, some tests we take will define a lot of things in our lives. No matter the stakes, it is always important that you try your hardest.
However, you also have to study smart. You have to know how to prepare for a test.
Check out the blog for more articles about self-improvement.