There is a lot of advice and an absurd number of lists available full of test preparation tips. However, most of the tips are not practical and seem to serve as filler on paper or on websites. We made our own list of the top seven tips for preparing for a test. Here they are:
1. Make a plan and stick to it.
If you don’t set aside time in your schedule to study, you likely won’t get to it. It’s important to not skip a session. Just like going to the gym, it’s easy to skip sessions after you skip the first one.
2. Find out what topics are on the test and which are most important (worth the most points), then prioritize what to study.
For standardized tests and tests in school, there are likely to be some topics that will be tested more than others. When you have a test that covers multiple chapters, reading all of the chapters and trying to memorize all of the information is most likely not your best bet. Some topics will likely be tested upon multiple times, while other topics may not even be included on the test. If you can find out what topics are most important, you can better prioritize your time.
3. Tell other people that you plan on studying, so you are accountable to them and are more likely to study.
When other people are aware of your preparation, you will feel more obligated to not let them down and to not look like a liar.
4. Take a practice test first to get an idea of what to expect.
If you can take a practice test, you can determine what your strengths and weaknesses are. You will also be able to see how far or close you are to your desired score. This will help give you an idea as to how much preparation is needed.
5. Try to explain your answers to others.
This helps in two ways. First, it will make you think more deeply about what you did. Second, if you can’t explain your answers, you will realize that you have to review the related concepts more.
6. Take care of yourself physically. Don’t forget to eat healthy, get rest, and stay active.
It’s very easy to forget about caring for yourself while preparing for a big test. If you don’t take care of yourself physically, you won’t be 100% mentally. Sleep and diet are important factors in a mental, as well as physical, well-being. It’s also important to remain active. You may be sitting at a desk or a table for hours. Take a break and walk a little.
7. Minimize distractions.
Keep your phone off or away while you are studying. It is too easy to be tempted to turn on your phone and start mindlessly scrolling when you should be studying.