How to Study for a Test for Any Student
How to Get Focused and Pass That Exam with Flying Colors
Stressing out over a test in school or college? Can't stay focused on studying? I know how you feel. It's hard to keep your mind on studying. In studying for an examination there is often a lot of anxiety, which can block your mind. I took tons of examinations before I finally finished law school, so you can imagine how much I had to study.
Most of us have 12 years of formal education by the time we are adults. I don't know any 18-year old who isn't sick of studying by that point. Then, we may decide to go to college so we can pursue higher education and career goals: more studying, more tests. So, whether you are in college or you have children who are school age, let me share my top ten ways to study for an examination.
Ten Ways to Study for a Test
1. Take time to relax or meditate for 15 mins or so before you start studying. This way you can clear your mind to study.
2. Get yourself something to drink while you study - whatever your thing is: coffee, tea, water, orange juice (preferably not booze, it interferes with the thought process).
3. Eat some fruit, cheese, peanuts, and protein to give you energy while you study. Carbs or sweets can work sometimes because they give your brain instant energy but you will feel tired when the sugar rush wears off later. Use carbs and sweets sparingly.
4. Find a quiet place where you are not distracted.
5. Study for short periods of time. Study for no more than 1 hour at a time. Then break for 30 minutes. Give your brain time to absorb the information.
6. Take notes when you are studying or write short essays summarizing the chapter, it will keep you active, will reinforce what you learned, and will keep you from distractions.
7. I used to put on the smooth jazz station (low volume). Music without lyrics can help keep you relaxed during study time.
8. Make sure you're in a comfortable position, seat, clothing, etc., otherwise you'll be fidgeting.
9. Make note cards during your study for the same reason in number 6; and you can use them later as flash cards to study more.
10. Don't try to cram. It creates more anxiety. Hopefully, you have been there for almost every class, so studying for an examination should be a review of all you learned during the term. We all know when our examinations are, so start exam study a week early, a little at a time.
It will all be worth it!
When I was a college admissions officer, students would come to me all the time to talk about exam anxiety and how to study. I shared these tips with them; and, then, applied them to myself when I went back to college (which took 8 years to get my A.A., B.A, and J.D.). I know all these tips worked for me. When applied you can get great grades on your exams. Strive to do your personal best and avoid any negative thinking that you can't do it, it's too hard, or that you will fail. Then you will surely be successful.
Special thanks to Priya Swan for inspiring this Hub.
By Liza Lugo, J.D.
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