I’m putting together a list of the best tips ever on how to prepare for a test because I’ve got one coming up shortly. It’s been a long time since I sat a test and I want to make sure I am as prepared as I can be. While we may all prefer different methods of studying, knowing how to prepare for a test is universal. I have a good track record in tests (lucky me) but I needed a refresher on the best ways to revise and be ready because failure is always an option! I plan not to fail though, because I am going to use these best ways to prepare for a test and be as ready as I can be.
There are people who talk about how to prepare for a test and give tips on cramming the night before, but there should be no need to cram. You should make a point of learning and memorizing your course through the year. You should be able to flip through your textbooks a few days before your test and be able to recall the particulars of what you are seeing. There is no way of cramming in order to do well on your test. If you have taken the time to learn your stuff before you even take your test then you should be able to go out the night before your test without any worries.
The problem is that as you revise you are re-learning things you already know. If you take practice tests, then you figure out the bits you are deficient in. Then you go and revise the bits you have just struggled with.
You might need to come to terms with the fact that you have done your work for the year and if you are going to pass, then you are going to pass no matter what. If you are going to fail then there is nothing you can do at this point. Recognize that your current actions cannot make your situation better, so relax about it, let the consequences go and just get through the test. Once you have freed yourself from the burden of the consequences, then you realize there is nothing to be worried about. Your success on a test is measured by how much you learned all year and not by the 14 hours cramming you did before the test.
Pretend you are summing up the chapter for a stranger to read. It helps your mind comprehend and reinforce the information it has just taken in.
Reading, study, note taking, flashcard making, mind mapping, speed reading and cramming are all things you can do when revising. Do them in 15-20 minute timed bursts and then do something else. You may start by skim reading for 15 minutes and then start note writing for twenty minutes. Take a 20 minute break every 90 minutes--even if you do not feel like one. Doing this will help to slow down your burnout.
Some people will argue until they are blue in the face that they can work better with a radio on or TV on. There are others who claim it doesn’t affect their concentration, but it really, really does. You like to have noise in the background because it is an uncomfortable side effect of a generation brought up by the TV. You need to get very comfortable with working in complete silence for stretches of at least four hours because it will prepare you for the conditions in which you sit your test.
Your diet and sleep patterns are going to make a massive difference to your performance. Healthy, green, leafy, nutty and seedy food must be had in order to keep you sharp. You are really going to struggle if you have not eaten right before your exams. Getting enough sleep is how to prepare for a test. Your brain simply will not function as well if you do not have a good sleep pattern going. You will experience sessions of lethargy or boredom/restlessness if you are not in a good sleep pattern.
These are the ways to prepare for a test that work for me. If you’re already at the “cramming” stage I think you’re beyond the help these particular tips will provide, but I do hope you will bear them in mind for the next semester, class, season or course. Do you have anything you consider infallible when it comes to preparing for a test?
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