Wouldn’t it be great if we could all go into a test or exam feeling super prepared and confident that we’re going to totally ace it?! Okay so maybe it’s not realistic to think that we’re always going to feel like this…but we can at least try, right?
Keep reading for just a few genius tips for anyone who wants ace every test that comes their way! No matter, just make sure that you do the very best that you can, keep up that motivation and drive to succeed in your studies and good luck to you!
1. Test Yourself for a Different Approach
Although it’s great to have someone else there to help test you on your study notes, you can actually test yourself really easily so this is definitely worth a try for those times when no one is around to help you.
It can be really helpful to try have these different approaches to studying as you might learn more effectively in some ways more than others. If you don’t find it particularly helpful to have someone else test you, testing yourself is a great alternative – especially if you’re someone who prefers to study independently like I am!
2. Brainstorm Key Ideas and Topics
One thing that I always found very helpful when studying for an important test is to go through the bulk of your notes (written in the classroom or lecture room) for the major topics which you know (or have a good idea) will be in the test. Use a critical eye to ‘pull out’ or extract the key points of information, like processes or orders that you will need to remember if it comes up as a question. Also look for key words or phrases.
Make a brainstorm and write these key ideas around it. It can also help to colour code certain pieces of information, so grab yourself a few highlighters and highlight the key ideas in different colours.
This can really work for some people, since often it’s easier to remember a certain colour than a whole piece of information in a stressful situation like a test or an exam, right? Then the colour you remember will be associated to the key idea that you paired with it…simple yet effective!
3. Take Regular Breaks While Studying
Although it may seem hard to leave your study notes if you’ve really gotten stuck in, it’s important to set yourself regular breaks for the most effective studying sessions.
Don’t feel like you need to sit with your notes for three whole hours in order to learn as much as you can! It’s a huge strain and a great deal of pressure to expect your brain to focus on complex processes and a whole lot of information for that long, so do yourself a favour and have a break after every twenty to thirty minutes of studying.
It might not seem like a lot of breaks and not much studying, but trust me, having a pair of fresh eyes to focus with each time you get back to your notes after a break is the best way to keep yourself concentrated as you go over your notes!
4. Make Yourself a Study Timetable
People who like to do things spontaneously might find it tempting to have this approach to studying for tests, where they just study when they ‘feel’ like it and go without a timetable. This probably only works for the very minority of people, because lets be honest and say who actually ever ‘feels’ like studying? No one I know! This is also an easy way to talk yourself out of studying, since you’ll think of something better to do and that time to study will vanish into thin air.
If you’re a super organised person like me, a study timetable is something you need to have asap! All you have to do a draw up an average week in your life and include any after school activities you are in, sports or any clubs that you go to during the week.
Write down the times of which these extra activities require (such as netball from 3.30pm – 4.30pm or dance from 5pm – 5.30pm) and use this to find out where you can place your study sessions in a way that they won’t clash with anything else you have to do.
It will be slightly different for everyone depending on how long they can study for and how much time they have, but it’s a good idea to give yourself at least a full hour or two dedicated to studying each time, as sometimes it can take a while to focus and concentrate on all the study notes and what not!
5. Go over Your Study Notes Regularly
You don’t just have to limit yourself to studying in your dedicated study sessions on your timetable, either! You can use any extra time you have to go over your notes, even if it’s just a few minutes before or after you go out somewhere, eat dinner or first thing when you wake up in the morning.
Those few minutes may not seem like it’s doing much, but trust me, a small amount of studying with fresh, focused eyes goes a long way, so remember that every little bit helps!
You can even take your notes with you in the car (only if you’re not driving, of course) on the weekends and use this as your extra study time, or even when you’re on your way to school! Whether you get the bus, train, are driven, or walk to school there’s always a small window of time that you can use as extra studying.
6. Check Notes Right before Your Test
Although this might sound odd or too stressful to some people, checking your notes right before you actually sit the test is a great way to get yourself into the test kind of mode and you never know, you may just remember the exact answer to a question in the test if you’ve looked at it just a few minutes before!
That being said, I know it can be a bit stressful to be looking at your notes just before going into the test, but if you’re trying to ace every test it’s definitely worth a try – it could work for you brilliantly!
You don’t have to go over huge chunks of detailed, complex information on your study notes, either (plus you might not have time to do that anyway if you’re about to go in). Maybe you just have time to quickly look at the short answers in your notes and aim to remember these.
7. Expand Answers for Extra Points
It’s all well and good to answer everything you can remember from your notes, but if you can (and if you have extra time, of course), try to expand on the answers that you’ve written down. What you decide to add here might not necessarily be anything in your notes, but maybe something you remember your teacher/lecturer saying in class one day about the topic or something you remember reading online or in your textbook.
Any little bit of extra information that you can remember is worth noting down in your answers, as it will show you have a much better understanding of the topic than simply regurgitating lots of jargon and complex words from your study notes! If you want to ace every test, you should really go out of your way to show the person who will be marking your test that you totally know what you’re talking about and you truly understand it! Trust me, all of your efforts will be noticed to the marker at the end.
On that note I wish you all the luck in the world for your future tests and I hope this post helped you!