How to Study for a Test

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How to Study for a TestDo you have a test or exam coming up in the near future?

Wondering how to make the most out of your study time?

In this post, I give you a handful of tips to help you make the most out of your study sessions.

Ready to get started? Here we go!

Don’t wait until the last minute.

While the allure of pulling an all-nighter may be appealing to some, there’s a lot more involved in properly studying for an exam or quiz than just staring at your notes or reading a book.

Studying is actually a highly active task; you are performing a lot of different skills at one time, including everything and anything from looking, thinking, writing, researching, reviewing, practicing problem solving and comprehension.

Give yourself as much time as possible to start studying for an exam, preferably at least week and a half in advance.

Find out what material will be covered on the test.

Knowing what material will be covered on the test will make it far easier to focus on what you do need to study, versus what you don’t need to study.

Prevent wasted time and effort by being 100% sure of the material to be covered on your test.

Consult the class syllabus, test review handout and/or double check with your instructor as to what information you’ll need to review.

When in doubt, ask! You might just save yourself from having a major headache and hours of time wasted studying the wrong material.

Approach information from large to small.

Instead of diving right in to the nitty-gritty details, concepts and/or formulas of your test material, take some time to get a general overview of your material.

Working and studying information “backwards” can be extremely helpful when studying for a test.

Here’s a few ideas to try:

  • Read the class syllabus and/or test review handout – what week, subject or area will your test cover?
  • Read the textbook chapter’s title and sub-headers first – this helps get your mind in gear to receive more detailed information
  • Read a chapter summary first – you’ll get an all-around summary of information
  • Review your most recent notes first and work your way backwards – you won’t have to spend as much time on the recent information and can spend more or your time on past material

Study in small time increments.

Who says you have to study material in long, long tedious sessions?

Take in material and information in smaller time increments than you would normally set up for yourself: think in minutes as opposed to hours at a stretch. Study, take a break, and then start studying again.

Break up your mini-study sessions with movement: get up from your seat, stretch, take a quick walk, do some light chores or put on some music and have a dance break.

You may also want to strongly consider studying on a cumulative basis, that is, studying a little bit everyday on a regular basis and slowly increasing the amount of your overall study time.

Now to you…what part do you always dread or have difficulties with when it comes to studying for a test? Leave a comment below and join in the conversation!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.