Tests are hard, but studying for them can take the pressure off. Unfortunately, knowing how to study isn’t something that just comes naturally. Most people don’t know the best ways to study and then they wonder why they fail the test after an all night cram session. If you’re spending tons of time studying and still struggling with the test, you may be doing it wrong. Check out our ultimate guide to studying for tips and tricks on how to study more effectively.
Take Good Notes
The key to good studying is preparation. Studying is an opportunity to review the things you learned in class, not a time to learn the things you didn’t learn in class because you were distracted by Facebook, the girl sitting next to you, or the storm cloud out the window. While you are in class, take good notes. You should copy down anything that seems important. It doesn’t have to be what your instructor has on the slide. As a matter of fact, writing your notes in your own words is a trick for helping to remember because it forces you to understand the material before writing it down.
Review Your Notes Regularly
If you wait until the final exam to review your notes, they will be a mess, and you will be overwhelmed. Instead, review your notes after each class or at least once a week. In your review, add in any additional information that may be useful. Write questions if you realize you don’t understand something. Then, follow up by asking those questions in class or when meeting with a tutor or study group. Be sure to take notes on the answer so that you will understand later on your own.
Prepare for the Test
When preparing for a test, open your notes to the beginning. Go through, page by page, and fold over the pages that you are certain about. Go through your notes and continue working through sections until all the pages are turned down. If you’ve been reviewing your notes regularly, asking follow-up questions, and making sure you understand the content as you go, this process will be pretty simple.
Instead of cramming the night before, get a good night’s sleep. Do something that relaxes you before bed to calm any anxiety, and then trust that you have done enough. You will do great because you’ve been preparing for this all class long!
Bonus Tip: Chew the same flavor of gum and/or wear a unique perfume (that won’t bother other people) while you study and when you are taking the test to help you recall information better. Sounds crazy, but it really works!