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Does Taking Tests Overwhelm You?

Taking a test can be an overwhelming experience. Here are some test taking tips for surviving a quiz or exam.

Plan ahead by studying over a period of time before the actual day of the exam. Trying to ‘cram’ a lot of information into one day of studying is overwhelming and stressful.

If you are aware of the test days before, try studying for the exam the day you find out about it. And continue to study up until the day of the test.

Allot a specific amount of time to study the subjects of the exam. Try breaking up your study time into 30 – 45 minute blocks with 15-minute breaks in-between each subject.  You can make a list containing all of the subjects that you may need to study for that day. Try to concentrate on one subject at a time.

Stressful StudentKnow the type of test you may be studying for and study accordingly. This is an important test taking tip to remember. If you know before hand that the test will be multiple choice or essay; study in that manner. For essay, you may want to concentrate on ideas and explanation of what you have learned about a subject during the class. For multiple-choice, studying the dates of events or definitions of words may help.

This test taking tip depends upon your ability to take effective notes from class. Remember to write down what your teacher puts on the black board. If it’s on the blackboard, it’s important.

When it comes to lecturing, some things will be on the board and some will be spoken. Listen to your teacher or professor and pay attention to how and what they may emphasize in their lecture. Write it down. Chances are, it’s an important fact and it will come up on a test or be used in a future lesson. You don’t have to copy every word your teacher may say, that would be impossible. Just try to remember what they may consider as key points in the lecture.

Keep your notes organized by subject so they are easier to read. This may be hard when copying things from the blackboard; but it can be done after class and during study time if necessary.

Utilize a study group if possible. The group should have an established meeting time and place. The members should be organized and supportive.

Study groups, proper note taking skills and organization of study time can help elevate becoming overwhelmed when it comes to studying for a test.

 

 

Studying in a Short Period of Time

Lets say you have a test on the American Revolution coming up in a few days. Do you try and learn every aspect of this time period in one sitting or do you break up each important item into a ‘chunk’ of information that is easier to recall. Below are a few test taking tips on how to study for an exam in a short period of time.

Woman Studying in Library

You can reduce the information into categories. Once you can shrink down the information into five or nine categories, it should be easier to digest. Here is how it’s done:

1. Have all your class notes and texts in one place.

2. Identify the important aspects of what you are studying for on the test. Read over your text and class notes and identify any of the important words or phrases.

3. For each aspect or word, write a short definition.

4. Have five to nine important ideas. On 3.5 note cards, write down chapter headings, lecture themes, or chapter titles you may have covered on the subject you are studying. Use a separate note card for each idea. These are the main ideas you’ll need to understand.

5. For each note card, write a short paragraph that defines or discusses each of your major ideas. This is a good test taking tip for short essay questions

6. Read the index cards over a few times until you are comfortable with them.

7. Test yourself by re-writing the main ideas and definitions on new blank index cards, without looking at the old ones. Highlight and underline the ideas and terms. This practice helps offer a visual reminder that reinforces the information.

This is a form of  ‘chunking’ information in a short amount of time. A test taking tip that you can use if you find yourself short on study time.

 

How to Start a Study Group

A popular test taking tip is the study group. Study groups can help a student to achieve the grades they desire. If you decide to form or become part of a study group, you should look for members who are serious about studying and have different learning styles.

The study group should establish some guidelines that will help to keep it in order and from losing it’s enthusiasm. By limiting the size of your group to three or six students, it helps to reduce the confusion of having more than one person trying to speak or lead the group.

Student Study Group

Don’t only study with your friends. Pick smart people who actually do their homework and get good grades. This adds to the dedication of the group and helps keep ideas flowing. Establish a regular meeting place and time. This adds structure to the group and shows that it’s a serious endeavor. Support each other and be encouraging. Try not to ridicule someone if they don’t understand a concept or question you are studying.

Try giving your group a name. This forms an identity and encourages participation within the group. Studying becomes more of a team effort and a bonding experience. Have group members take turns as leaders. This helps create a feeling of belonging and they can also help lead the group by keeping it on topic so it doesn’t become a social group and less of a study group.

Try to predict exam questions and quiz each member of the study group on them. You are helping the other members as well as yourself when you quiz each other.

Remember to encourage your members with a positive feedback. The more positive the group atmosphere, the more studying will get done.

Study groups are useful for all types of subjects and can be utilized by students of all ages. By keeping the goals and objectives of the group on course, any student can benefit from this studying and test taking tip.

 

Time Management and Studying

As a student it is important to schedule time to study for courses and test well into advance. These study and test taking tips should help you plan a schedule for general studying of your classes.

Try to extend your study time over a few days, rather than trying to cram a whole lot of information into one study session the day

Time Management

before. If you know you have an upcoming test a week in advance, begin studying for that exam the day you find out about the test.

If you study during a study hall or free time during school, this will help to keep the information you have just learned, fresh in your mind.

If you have no free school time to study, pick a place and time to study on a daily basis and keep that schedule religiously. Allot at least 2 hours a day to studying the subjects that are most critical for that day. For example, if you have a test in Spanish in two days, begin studying on that one first, instead of for a class where there are no assignments due or tests for the next few days.

Break each study session into 30 – 45 minute intervals with 15 minute breaks in-between. This helps to prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by the subject matter and gives your mind a rest in between.

Consider joining a study group for classes that you are having difficulties in or that have huge projects due. These can meet daily or weekly, depending upon the course and the type of studying you may have to do; such as studying for a test.

When studying, try to be organized. This will save time and reduce stress. Have everything you need while studying with you in one place. Items such as textbooks, pens, pencils, rulers etc., whatever is needed for that class, should be at hands reach when studying.

Being a student is like having a job. Managing your time is a major factor in getting the job done in a timely and correct manner. Practicing the studying and test taking tips on time management can help you achieve the grades you desire.

The Importance of Taking Good Notes

The importance of taking good notes can make all the difference when it comes to passing or failing a class or a test. Effective note taking involves organization and paying attention in class or at a lecture.

Say you are studying for a test. If your notes aren’t complete and organized, it may make passing that test more difficult than it

Students Taking Notes During Lecture

would be, if you had taken the time to make your notes easy to follow.

This test taking tip, involves simply writing down what your teacher puts on the black board. If it’s on the blackboard, it’s important.

When it comes to lecturing, some things will be on the board and some will be spoken. Listen to your teacher or professor and pay attention to how and what they may emphasize in their lecture. For example, if your teacher begins a sentence with, “Remember that George Washington was the first President.” Write it down. Chances are, it’s an important fact and it will come up on a test or be used in a future lesson. You don’t have to copy every word your teacher may say, that would be impossible. Just try to remember what they may consider as key points in the lecture.

Keep your notes organized by subject so they are easier to read. This may be hard when copying things from the blackboard; but it can be done after class and during study time if necessary.

You may have to re-copy your notes more than once. Do so by subject matter and in order of importance. An example might be an outline form like below.

I. Presidents

A. First

1. George Washington

If you keep your notes in an outline format, it will be easier for you to follow when it’s time to study for your test or just study in general.

When it comes to note taking, remember to organize by subject, listen in class and write down what the teacher may put on the blackboard. After class or at study time, you may want to copy what you’ve written into a readable and outlined format to make studying easier.

 

 

Prioritizing your Study Habits

Prioritizing is simply putting what is most important or needs to be done sooner first and ranking everything else afterwards in order according to its degree of importance.

Student Taking Study NotesFor example, say you are planning your study time. It’s advisable to get in the habit of beginning with the most difficult subject you have and work on it with the most energy first. That way your mind is fresh and so you can devote the most concentration towards the subject.

Another way to prioritize your study habits is to sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of what you may need to study for; based on what your teacher has covered in class or what’s on the syllabus.

Then, read over your list and divide the subjects into three categories. Label the categories from the most urgent, such as an upcoming test, as your number one priority and the subjects that can wait a day should be number two, and the things that can wait two or more days can be number three.

Now, take a look at your first priority. Lets say it’s a test. Depending upon the type of test and what’s being covered. Rank the subjects or ideas from the most critical first and follow accordingly with a-b-c labels.

The next test taking tip is to make a new list that includes only your top priority. Such as the subject labeled “A” on your list. You can put “B” and “C” completely out of your mind for a while. Once you finish studying for “A”; you can move on to the next subject on your list.

By breaking down your study subject into a prioritized list, it helps to keep you from feeling overwhelmed by your classes or study subject. List making can be empowering and give you more control over your study sessions.

 

 

 

Studying and Organization

Student Studying in Quiet Library Organization can be the key to getting better grades in school. Some of the best test taking tips, involve ones ability to organize their study habits and how they study for different types of tests.

Some of these tips include organization skills that will improve your ability to study effectively.

Making space for studying. This involves the simple task of finding a quite and clean area in your home; where you will do your studying. Nothing else should be done here, but studying. It should be clear of clutter, quiet and have the least distractions.

This can be a desk, kitchen table or any place that’s comfortable for you and offers the room to study.

Allot a specific amount of time to study each subject. It is easy to overwhelm yourself when studying for more than one class. Try breaking up your study time into 30 – 45 minute blocks with 15-minute breaks in-between each subject.  You can make a list containing all of the subjects that you may need to study for that day. Try to concentrate on one subject at a time.

Prepare for your study session. Have everything that you will need to study with you before you begin to study. Pens, pencils, paper and whatever tools you may need for each class you are studying for; should be on hand so you don’t have to stop what your doing in order to find them.

Know the type of test you may be studying for and study accordingly. This is an important test taking tip to remember. If you know before hand that the test will be multiple choice or essay; study in that manner. For essay, you may want to concentrate on ideas and explanation of what you have learned about a subject during the class. For multiple choice, studying the dates of events or definitions of words may help.

There are many ways to organize your study environment and how you use your time to study for a subject or a test. Implementing these tips, may make the difference in improving your grades in school.

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