How to Study for an Exam

Here are several tips that will help increase test scores and decrease test anxiety.

Step 1: Attend Class

The key to doing well on any exam is attending all the lectures. Professors will usually emphasize material that they feel is most important. Sometimes they will even directly tell you what is on the test.

Step 2: Take Notes

It's impossible to remember everything that is said in lecture after only hearing it one time. It is important to take notes that can be reviewed later on. It is very helpful to write down any questions that you may have in the margins of your notes so that you can remember to figure out the things that you don't understand before you are tested on the material.

Step 3: Do Not Procrastinate

It is more effective to study for a short time every day than to study for hours the night before the exam. Set aside time daily to review the class material.

Step 4: Organize Your Study Area

Find a place to study where you will not have any distractions. Make sure your study area is clean and that you have all the supplies that you will need.

Step 5: Do Practice Problems

Review previous exams and make sure that you can do all of those problems. Do extra problems from homework or from a textbook. The most effective way to learn something is by practicing it.

Step 6: Explain the Information to a Friend

When you try to explain concepts to another person you will realize what you do and do not understand. If you have difficulty telling someone about a particular topic, it probably means you should review it again.

Step 7: Ask Questions

When you have questions about the material do not hesitate to ask questions. The professor or other classmates can often help with confusing material. Many classes offer free tutoring or group study sessions.

Step 8: Use Visual Aids

Just reading a textbook can become extremely boring. Creating tables, charts, diagrams, and pictures can make studying more interesting and can help you increase your memory of the topic.

Step 9: Take Breaks Regularly

Sometimes studying can become overwhelming. It is important to take breaks so that you do not wear yourself out. Perhaps try reading one section of your textbook and then do something fun before continuing.

Step 10: Stay Fueled

While studying and before going to take a test, make sure that you remain hydrated. It is also important to eat something healthy. Consuming nutritious foods and drinking water will help your brain function at its maximum potential.

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