Next, write outlines for the prompts you came up with (or, if you came up with a lot of prompts, choose the most likely to outline). These outlines don’t need to contain much information, just your thesis and a few key points for each body paragraph. Even if your teacher chooses a different prompt than what you came up with, just thinking about what to write about and how you’ll organize your thoughts will help you be more prepared for the test.
SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips
Do you have a big exam coming up, but you’re not sure how to prepare for it? Are you looking to improve your grades or keep them strong but don’t know the best way to do this? We’re here to help! In this guide, we’ve compiled the 17 best tips for how to study for a test. No matter what grade you’re in or what subject you’re studying, these tips will give you ways to study faster and more effectively. If you’re tired of studying for hours only to forget everything when it comes time to take a test, follow these tips so you can be well prepared for any exam you take.
How to Study for a Test: General Tips
#1: Stick to a Study Schedule
If you’re having trouble studying regularly, creating a study schedule can be a huge help. Doing something regularly helps your mind get used to it. If you set aside a time to regularly study and stick to it, it’ll eventually become a habit that’s (usually) easy to stick to. Getting into a fixed habit of studying will help you improve your concentration and mental stamina over time. And, just like any other training, your ability to study will improve with time and effort.
Take an honest look at your schedule (this includes schoolwork, extracurriculars, work, etc.) and decide how often you can study without making your schedule too packed. Aim for at least an hour twice a week. Next, decide when you want to study, such as Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 7-8pm, and stick to your schedule. In the beginning, you may need to tweak your schedule, but you’ll eventually find the study rhythm that works best for you. The important thing is that you commit to it and study during the same times each week as often as possible.
#2: Start Studying Early and Study for Shorter Periods
Some people can cram for several hours the night before the test and still get a good grade. However, this is rarer than you may hope. Most people need to see information several times, over a period of time, for them to really commit it to memory. This means that, instead of doing a single long study session, break your studying into smaller sessions over a longer period of time. Five one-hour study sessions over a week will be less stressful and more effective than a single five-hour cram session. It may take a bit of time for you to learn how long and how often you need to study for a class, but once you do you’ll be able to remember the information you need and reduce some of the stress that comes from schoolwork, tests, and studying.
#3: Remove Distractions
When you’re studying, especially if it’s for a subject you don’t enjoy, it can be extremely tempting to take “quick breaks” from your work. There are untold distractions all around us that try to lure our concentration away from the task at hand. However, giving in to temptation can be an awful time suck. A quick glance at your phone can easily turn into an hour of wasting time on the internet, and that won’t help you get the score you’re looking for. In order to avoid distractions, remove distractions completely from your study space.
Eat a meal or a snack before you begin studying so you’re not tempted to rummage through the fridge as a distraction. Silence your phone and keep it in an entirely different room. If you’re studying on a computer, turn your WIFI off if it’s not essential to have. Make a firm rule that you can’t get up to check on whatever has you distracted until your allotted study time is up.
#4: Reward Yourself When You Hit a Milestone
To make studying a little more fun, give yourself a small reward whenever you hit a study milestone. For example, you might get to eat a piece of candy for every 25 flashcards you test yourself on, or get to spend 10 minutes on your phone for every hour you spend studying. You can also give yourself larger rewards for longer-term goals, such as going out to ice cream after a week of good study habits. Studying effectively isn’t always easy, and by giving yourself rewards, you’ll keep yourself motivated.
Daaaance to the music
It’s still not clear which type of music is best — classical, country, rock, or hip-hop — so go with your favorite. Give those biology notes a soundtrack and feel at least some stress slide away. de Witte M, et al. (2019). Effects of music interventions on stress-related outcomes: A systematic review and two meta-analyses. DOI: 10.1080/17437199.2019.1627897
Just before staring at a piece of paper for 3 hours, direct your gaze inward for 3 minutes. Research suggests meditation can boost attention span and improve focus. And if you do it often enough, you can keep those intellectual gains well past the college years. Zanesco AP, et al. (2018). Cognitive aging and long-term maintenance of attentional improvements following meditation training. DOI: 10.1007/s41465-018-0068-1
abstract: Something that exists as an idea or thought but not concrete or tangible (touchable) in the real world. Beauty, love and memory are abstractions; cars, trees and water are concrete and tangible. (in publishing) A short summary of a scientific paper, a poster or a scientist’s talk. Abstracts are useful to determine whether delving into the details of the whole scientific paper will yield the information you seek.
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: (ADHD) This is a disorder characterized by not being able to focus or pay attention, being physically overactive, not being able to control behavior, or a combination of these.
COVID-19: A name given the coronavirus that caused a massive outbreak of potentially lethal disease, beginning in December 2019. Symptoms included pneumonia, fever, headaches and trouble breathing.
data: Facts and/or statistics collected together for analysis but not necessarily organized in a way that gives them meaning. For digital information (the type stored by computers), those data typically are numbers stored in a binary code, portrayed as strings of zeros and ones.
distraction: Any event or situation that draws someone’s attention away from whatever had been his or her main focus. Distractions can be external events, such as sounds or sights; or they can be internal events, such as thoughts or emotions.
journal: (in science) A publication in which scientists share their research findings with experts (and sometimes even the public). Some journals publish papers from all fields of science, technology, engineering and math, while others are specific to a single subject. The best journals are peer-reviewed: They send all submitted articles to outside experts to be read and critiqued. The goal, here, is to prevent the publication of mistakes, fraud or sloppy work.
model: A simulation of a real-world event (usually using a computer) that has been developed to portray something or to predict one or more likely outcomes. Or an individual or thing that is meant to display how something would work in or look on others.
stress: (in biology) A factor — such as unusual temperatures, movements, moisture or pollution — that affects the health of a species or ecosystem. (in psychology) A mental, physical, emotional or behavioral reaction to an event or circumstance (stressor) that disturbs a person or animal’s usual state of being or places increased demands on a person or animal; psychological stress can be either positive or negative.
superficial: Something that is on the surface (hence, not deep), such as the skin of the body. Or, something that appears important until, looked at more closely, there is little substance to the claim.
Champions’ Mindset: Unleash The Power of Peak Performance
An often-neglected but crucial key to the puzzle of how to study effectively comes in making sure you yourself are well. You have to think of yourself as an athlete – an elite, exam-taking athlete. And you cannot possibly perform at your best unless you are taking good care of your mind and body.
29. Keep Going
Once you do decide you’re a high-performer, you’ll behave accordingly! That might only mean a small tweak to your habits each day. Working three hours instead of two. Using retrieval practice not just re-reading.
And if you struggle to associate with that new identity as a high performer today: then PRETEND. Ask yourself what a high performer would do in this situation? How would they tackle this assignment, this tricky exam question? Act accordingly.
30. Keep Growing
31. Keep Walking
A brisk walk is a great way to take a “quality break”. It will not only reset your focus, but also boost your creativity! People often find a good idea often pops into their head while out on a walk, and psychologists have good evidence for the relationship between walking and creativity.
32. Keep Talking
33. Keep Breathing
Taking slow, calm breaths from deep in your belly is a great tonic to soothe jittery nerves. Get in the habit of practising regularly. It’s another great way to find the right mindset to study effectively.
And if you struggle with anxiety, consider practising meditation: it’s not woo-woo or religious any more, it’s mainstream, and it just teaches how to focus your mind in the present and stop it racing with worries about the future.
34. Take A Pressure Vaccine