posted by Chris Valentine

There have been many theories put forward to condemn the method of testing put in place eons ago. But it is true that there is no other way to test several people’s knowledge of a subject in a uniform manner. In fact, studies claim that the best way to be confident whilst taking any test is to take them often. That will eventually take away any stress that we feel in such a situation. Since the mere notice that you are going to be tested brings on the jitters- it is not a pleasant thought for most people. However, being prepared will put you in the zone so that you are ready to tackle whatever comes before you.

1. Choose your path

The next step is to chart a method for yourself as to how you will go about your learning to reach that final target. Some people study best in a library, others like noise, still others prefer music in the background, and then there are those who like to have a study group. If you are someone who prefers the motivation of hashing out a theory with friends, then pick out like-minded fellows you can meet with to go over your concepts and practice problems with. But if you require that the subject matter be taught to you, online tutoring is just a click away.

2. Do your homework

There are many ways to eat cake, but they all begin by first cutting into it and taking that first step. Before you begin studying for any test, gather all your materials in one place. Find out the syllabus outline for the test, and the relevant textbooks, study aids and practice tests that you will require. Then begin by assessing what you know, and what you need to know. Once you have realistic goals and objectives set out in front of you, your path ahead will be easier for ignorance was never your friend. Think back to your classes, and look at your notes to gauge the important points from your teacher’s perspective and the test pattern: will it be multiple choice, essay-based, vocabulary oriented or a mix of all? You will need to prepare the way you will be tested.

3. Bedtime is a good time

Have you ever had story-time sessions at bedtime with your loved one? We all cherish the tales we heard as we grew up. The lessons in them were timeless and the stories have stayed with us to date! Bedtime is a good time to catch up with what you learned during the day, be it with friends, in class or alone. Keep a book for review by your bedside if your test subject permits, or take yourself to your study-table before you hit the hay. The last concepts to be studied are sure to stay with you and strengthen during the night.

4. Jump for energy

We often find ourselves slacking or our energy-zapping out as we dive deep into our studies, or tackle a particularly dreary concept. If you feel a yawn coming on and it is not yet time to call it a day, get up, bend your knees, and jump. It is a brilliant aerobic move that gets your blood pumping. Do a quick jog, go on a sprint, or try some power yoga. Any move that gets your heart rate up, will enhance blood flow to your brain. This will, in turn, sharpen your faculties and get you ready to hit the books again.

5. Snacking the right way

Feeling hungry after all those pages of ink? If you were to eat a large meal in the midst of studies or have some fatty, starchy food items like fried chicken or milkshake, you will simply want to nap next. Choose to snack wisely. Have an apple or some almonds instead. Maybe brew a small cup of coffee or tea — whatever gets you going. The small amount of sugar will stimulate you and get you ready for the next round of learning.

6. Charting for memory

Do you notice how books often have a page of summary or notes for reviewing before they go on to the next topic? You ought to do the same to help your brain. Jot down quick notes for yourself that will help you to hang on to the concept for longer, or simply choose to copy out the author’s charts and pointers for yourself. Make it a habit to review these before bed, or whilst you do some chores. You can also create fun mnemonics that stay in your mind because of their simplistic or absurd nature. Here’s a fun one for those trigonometry graph quadrants: All (A) Science (S) Teachers (T) are Crazy (C).

7. Testing yourself

Endlessly poring over books or highlighting sentence upon sentence for memory will not be very helpful unless you test yourself or get someone to test you. Go through your mistakes and compare the next test results with your previous ones; there better be an improvement or new mistakes at the very least. Ensure that you go over mistakes in detail; correction is crucial for prevention. Look at your strategy- is that where you could be going wrong? All the books on the subject will not be able to help you if you are going about it wrong. If the testing does not require essays, then sharpen your facts and quick recall.

Testing your knowledge works to build your concepts stronger and gives you a chance to apply your knowledge. This will also ready you for your upcoming test and take away the mind-numbing stress that comes with the first glance at your test paper.

8. Pacing yourself out

It is important to note that a bucketload of cramming done together is neither efficient nor very practical. Pace yourself out before a test so that you get your preparation done in manageable chunks. These are easier to go over and retain fir longer. Divide a topic into sections that you can study and then test yourself over before you move on to the next one.

9. Full night’s sleep

As tempting as it may be to forego sleep in favor of that final cramming, our brain needs to reset while we catch on z’s to ensure retention and readying itself for a new day of learning. An average REM cycle is 1.5 hours long, and even an extreme scenario requires that you give your body and brain that one and a half hours of relaxation before venturing into that testing center. Thank you later!

10. Review

Revision is your best friend. Review as many times and as many different ways as possible for you. Quiz yourself on the concepts you find difficult. Go over all those errors you made in your self-tests. Thoroughly examine your faulty guesses and incorrect reasonings, so that the right facts are established well within your brain.

The Final Thoughts

If you follow these tips to plan your study before a test, there is every reason for you to do well. Plan and study well so that stressors are unable to detract from a good grade, and learn from every mistake.

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