How To Study for A Test
Do you have an upcoming test, and you want to know how you can adequately prepare for it? Then you have come to the right place. This article will explain all the crucial steps and changes you need to take or make to ensure you optimize your study sessions.
You will learn how to create an environment that promotes a healthy absorption of information for your brain and encourages you to remember what you read.
There will be four main parts:
- What to do when studying for a test
- Improving efficiency during your studies
- How to motivate yourself as you study for a test
Without further ado, let’s jump into the first stage.
Preparation is all about making your studying environment conducive and good for you. You need a calm and quiet environment. An optimized study environment allows your brain to take in the information you read and store it properly. You will then be able to retrieve it with ease during the actual test.
Optimizing your studying environment
There are several measures you need to take to ensure that your study environment is conducive.
Clean and organize your room or desk -- Remove anything that may distract you from the table and arrange any scattered items on it. A clean and well-arranged room helps you have an easier time learning.
Ensure the lighting is bright enough -- Do not study in a dark room. Your room should have enough lamps, and it should be well aerated. So, open up those windows and draw the curtains to set the right ambiance.
Gather all your learning materials -- Keep all your textbooks and notes on the study table or next to it where you can reach them without having to stand up. If you will be learning from a website, like the Get better grades now website, keep your laptop with you and make sure your Wi-Fi or data is functioning seamlessly.
Turn off the TV and keep away your phone -- Multitasking will only ruin your study session, and these devices will act as mere distractions. You can turn off all your phone notifications and only activate the relevant ones. Most phones can have their notifications customized.
Decide if music is right for you -- Playing music in the background as you study can improve your information absorption rate, or it could impact you negatively. Classical music is known to improve memory performance.
Other forms of music you can listen to are nature sounds, instrumental music, or Mozart. All you have to do is make sure you are focused on what you are studying and not the music.
What to do when studying for a test
- Have an outlined plan of action – Don’t just dive into any random topic and start working on it, and then shift to another random one when you are done. Write down a plan detailing how you are going to cover all the relevant subjects. Allocate time for each based on how difficult you feel it is to you.
- Rewriting your notes – As you study, write down bullet points on what you are reading. Rewriting your notes refreshes your memory. After every topic, take some time to go through those points and see how much information you can remember about each.
- Internalizing the information – Ask yourself questions about everything you’ve learned at the end of the study session. Try to say the answers out loud instead of just thinking about them. This tactic helps you synthesize the information you have absorbed and understand it better.
- Take a practice test or quiz – If the test you are preparing for will cover former things you were taught, then this is an excellent idea to refresh your memory.
If you don’t have readily available tests to gauge yourself with, you can visit an online site that offers such services. The Get better grades now website will have all the quizzes and tests you will need to practice with.
How to study efficiently for a test
Study during the right hours
Avoid studying when you are tired. Late night studying has no benefits because, on most occasions, your brain will be wasted and worn out. It will, therefore, not take in most of the information you will be reading. Moreover, you will have a difficult time understanding those important concepts.
The best time to read is early in the morning, preferably after you wake up. If you can’t find time in the morning, then take a nap before studying in the evening. A nap will let your mind rest for a while and refresh it. Try not to push your evening study hours past 10 pm.
Know your learning style
Each person absorbs information optimally in different ways. Some visual learners have an easier time taking in details from pictures, graphs, or videos. Such people would benefit a great deal from documentaries or YouTube videos explaining the concepts they are learning.
Other students are stimulated through auditory means. If you are such a person, record yourself reading the notes, and then listen to the recording later. Alternatively, you can read the notes out loud. This method actually helps enhance your information retention capability.
Finally, a physical person can walk around while he or she lectures to you.
Start as early as you can
Start preparing for that test as soon as you can. Even if it's only one day away, then read for it from as early as the preceding morning. You can read at intervals within the day while giving yourself breaks.
Cramming information on the night before is ineffective because your brain hardly retains anything you’ve read. The best time to start studying for a test is as early as two weeks prior to the test. When you begin preparing for a test that soon, you will have enough time to learn everything and review the topics you don’t understand well.
Use the right studying techniques
Different subjects require different approaches to how you study for them. Theoretical subjects have a lot of information, and the best way to retain most of it is by reading and rereading it multiple times. Use this technique on humanities and subjects such as history and literature.
Other subjects, such as mathematics, require a more practical approach. You will need to practice solving the problems to understand them well. This continuous practice also helps you learn how to solve them faster and, therefore, saves you time during the test.
Ask for help
If you have a difficult time understanding a concept, ask someone else to help you. This can be anyone around you, from your friends and family to your teacher or tutor.
You can also try to figure out what your teacher might put in the test based on past experiences. Alternatively, you can take a bold move and ask your teacher about the scope of the upcoming test.
There are also other resources that you can use to help you study. These include books from your school library or past papers from your school’s website. You can also visit a get better grades now website to see what resources they have to offer.
Motivating yourself when studying for a test
Motivating yourself as you study for a test is essential because it improves your overall learning experience. Below are some ideas on how you can motivate yourself.
Breaks not only help your mind and body relax from the study session, but they also make the learning experience more fun. Studying for too long slows down your brain’s information absorption and retention rate. You could end up spending hours studying but gain nothing out of it.
You should have a break at least once or twice within an hour.
However, take caution in how you schedule your breaks so that you don’t spend more time on break than learning. A break of 10-20 minutes after studying for 40 minutes is a logical structure to consider.
Have a positive approach
Self-confidence is vital in helping you focus on your studies and keep you going. Having a plan of how and when you are going to study will help you be more confident that you will be ready by the time the test starts.
Don’t focus on how little you’ve read or get lost in thoughts of how difficult the test will be. Stay alert and work toward achieving the studying milestones you’ve set.
Study with other people
Studying for a test with a group can be much more engaging than reading by yourself. Arrange and meet with other people to discuss areas that you feel you haven’t understood well. Study groups also provide insightful perspectives, since each person expresses their own ideas about a concept or a question.
Call for help when needed
If you don’t have time to see your friends and ask them to explain sections you don’t understand yet, you can simply call them. Alternatively, you can call your tutor and ask them for help.
The internet can also help. There are online platforms where you post a question, and the members of the online community contribute their answers.
If all of that doesn’t work, try seeing your teacher before the exam and ask them to explain it to you.
The test day is finally here, what’s next?
During the test day:
- Ensure you’ve had plenty of rest the night before. It should be a minimum of eight hours.
- Have a light breakfast and carry snacks for the day if there will be multiple tests.
- Talk a walk or do something relaxing before the test.
- Get to the venue at least 10 minutes early.
Going to class and paying attention during the lesson helps you learn a lot. Try to become an active learner in school, instead of a passive one. Teachers are often known for giving hints about what a test will cover during classes.
Furthermore, if you go through what you were taught in a class within 24 hours, research shows that your brain will retain 80% of the information. When the time comes to study for a test, you will only need minutes to refresh your memory and be ready for it. In the long run, going to classes actually saves you on the amount of time you will take to study for a test.
Write down notes
Writing notes during class helps you remember more than 50% of what was taught in that lesson. Your brain will most likely recall what it heard and saw more than what it only heard.
Record the points that your teacher writes on the board or emphasizes during the class. However, don’t get so distracted writing down the notes that you forget to listen to the teacher. Finally, make a habit of reviewing those notes at the end of the day.
Review your syllabus
Having a clear picture of the syllabus in your mind will keep you on track in terms of when a test is coming up. Record these dates on your calendar so that you can prepare for your tests in advance.
Schedule your sessions and have a timetable that outlines when you will study each subject and stick to that timetable religiously. This is a much better approach to preparing for your tests or exams than trying to cram all the information in one night.
Studying for a test is all about preparation. You need to come up with effective study methods that will ensure you understand everything you read and remember most of it. Studying in a conducive environment is essential, too, since it affects how you take in the information you are reading.
Remember to use the right studying techniques for the right subject, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you get stuck. With the above guideline, you have everything you need to study properly for a test. Now, all that’s left is for you to use it and prepare yourself thoroughly.