How You Can Study More Effectively for Important Tests

Chances are you’ll encounter some kind of test at least once in your life. This could be for a college entrance exam, a certification for work, or even a pop quiz. You can start preparing no matter how far away the test date is. You’re certain to ace the exam with just a few simple steps.

Calm Your Nerves

Texts can make some people nervous. Practice self-care to neutralize those fears. Try visualizing success: picture yourself with a high score or a certification diploma. You can also meditate. Train your mind to operate more productively so you’ll stay focused during the exam. Breathe slowly and carefully. Acknowledge your anxieties but don’t put pressure on yourself.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Prep work is less effective if you don’t know what you’re studying. Take a couple of practice tests first. These give you example questions and also get you accustomed to the test format itself.

Cram Productively

Some people work best under pressure, and you might be one of them. The old “all-nighter” cram session can be surprisingly efficient if you do it right. (Don’t pull one too often, though, because sleep is also important!) Here are a few pointers:

  • Limit your coffee. As tempting as it may be, reserve it for the period between midnight and about 7 AM when you feel yourself getting tired.
  • Maintain your energy with healthy snacks like a protein bar.
  • Study at your desk instead of in bed.
  • Rest up the next day, after the test!

Take Regular Breaks

If your mind is starting to wander it’s a good sign that you need to stop. Set aside your textbooks and notes in 20 minute intervals. Take a moment to get up from your desk and walk around. Go outside if at all possible: fresh air can really clear your head. Now you can return to your work with new energy and focus.

Band Together

Form a study group with friends or peers who are also taking the exam. Create a collaborative document where you can all share notes and study tips. Studying together gives you a new perspective on tougher concepts. It also creates group bonding which makes the class more fun.

Test preparation doesn’t have to be stressful. Remember that you are taking this exam as part of your academic or career goals. Be proud of yourself for that.

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