Study Tips for Effective Test Prepataion

Study Tips

Time Management

  • Space out studying within small chunks of time
  • Every hour of study deserves 10 minutes of break time
    • Break time: Do some stretches, walk around a bit, jumping jacks, talk to other people. Focus on anything but your study material.
  • Do not study for long stretches of time
  • Give brain opportunity to turn short term memory into long-term memory
    • Plan out study time on a calendar or personal planner
    • Physically write out how long you ill spend on each subject. By writing it out, you are holding yourself accountable!
    • Color code between different subjects if that helps
    • Stagger study periods so that you do not burn out too early. Switch up the order of subjects to study.
    • Once completing a day of studying, cross off that day.
  • Try not to cram the night before an exam
  • The earlier you study, the more you can share practice problems/answers with your peers and classmates and possibly get helpful feedback. It could make all the difference in a grade.

Study Aids

  • Study Guides: use bullet points and subheadings to organize the topic of a chapter
  • Rewrite your class notes into something visually appealing (see graphic organizers)
  • Graphic Organizers: bubble maps, flow charts, diagrams, concept maps, etc.
  • Use color pens, highlights, colored pencils to help you study. Use the colors to highlight, underline, and write specific notes in the margins of papers. This can also be done on the computer as well.
    • Three Color Method
      • Use one color for concepts you already know
      • Use second color for concepts you know, but need to reinforce
      • Use third color for concepts you do not know at all

Reading Tips

  • Read chapter summary first prior to reading the chapter
    • Gives general idea of what to expect so that you can make big idea connections
    • Focus more on concept rather than straight memorizing
  • Take notes while reading but limit each paragraph to about 1-2 bullet points
  • Do not take excessive notes on every little detail. Try to focus on big concepts.

Applying skills and concepts learned to every -day activities

  • Vocabulary: use vocabulary in conversation with friends and family. For foreign language practice, try to think of an object name in that language first. Train your brain to “think” in a different language.
  • Reading: Read every day for 20-25 minutes will strengthen reading fluency, variety, and build vocabulary
  • Math: solve math problems in small batches. Spread out the batches from day to evening.
    • Invest in a whiteboard or mirror markers to practice the problems without the use of pencil and paper.

Teaching someone else

  • You only truly know a concept when you can teach it to others.
  • If you are focused, you can hold study groups with peers. Make sure everyone studies prior coming to the study group session and that everyone brings questions/answers already considered.

Receive tutoring early

Tutoring does not have to be just for receiving bad grades. Receiving tutoring early on and on a consistent basis can establish a good foundation at the beginning of the school year so you do not fall behind

Exercise and Sleep

  • Oxygen intake helps with studying. Exercising is the best option for this. Make sure to get enough sleep each night when studying and to make sure to exercise. Light cardio exercises, such as walking, climbing staircases, elliptical machines, and stationery bike can make the difference in studying and learning material!

Changing up your study location

  • When you switch up your study spots, you will most likely be more engaged with studying. A new environment can encourage you to focus more than others. Find what works for you.
    • Some options: the library, quite coffee shops, a friend’s house
  • Study in a clean, organized space. If you like big tables, seek out large coffeehouses. If you like small spaces, take a look at the study cubicles at libraries.
  • Music: does listening to classical music help you study? If so, use it! Does listening to rap help you focus and power through an essay, and if it’s not distracting, feel free to go ahead and use that!
    • Determine if you can focus better with non-lyrical music versus lyrical music
    • Pick a playlist at the beginning of the study session and let it play out. No switching back and forth to change the music; this can distract you from studying.

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