For a student to ace an exam, they need to be completely prepared for it. And no, there’s no better alternative to preparation — studying throughout the course and preparing over time prevents stress from getting the best of the student at the worst possible moment. If students don’t give themselves as much time as possible to study for a test, they might get a disappointing grade or even fail their course.
However, it’s understandable why so many students put off studying as long as possible. Procrastination is a common issue not only among students but also among adults in their professional lives. Preparing for a test, especially a big one feels overwhelmingly difficult sometimes.
It is important to note that when students plan out their test-taking strategies ahead of time instead of scrambling for ways to memorize information at the last minute, they can greatly reduce their stress and increase their chances of success.
I’ve gathered a list of test-taking tips for students planning to study this term. With these studying methods under their toolbelt, any student will feel more prepared for the gauntlet of exams ahead of them.
Studying Tips for Improving Retention and Reducing Stress
Create a Study Schedule and Stick to It
Creating a study schedule allows students to maintain focus and manage their time well, especially for those who find it difficult to study regularly. When creating a study schedule, the student should keep their schoolwork and extracurriculars in mind. By being thoughtful about their schedule, they can choose times where they can relax, focus, and, most of all, study.
It might be difficult to stick to a study schedule at first, but it’s something that every student should work on. It eventually becomes part of their routine when they practice sticking to their study schedule. Over time, they’ll get used to having dedicated time for studying, which makes it easier for them to focus and digest the information properly.
This also comes with the added benefit of reduced stress outside study hours. Many students feel guilty when relaxing if they know they should study more often. However, when students delegate specific times of their day to study, they can rest easy during the rest of the day, knowing that they’re doing what they can when they can.
Limit Time Spent Studying
While regular studying is essential, it shouldn’t be overdone. Overstudying can be counterproductive and prevent students from getting the results they hoped for when the test rolls around.
The thing is, after an hour or two, it becomes more difficult to concentrate. Even if a student continues reading past this point, there’s a good chance that the information won’t stick in their minds.
The best way to study is to schedule several study sessions. This may seem more exhausting and complicated at first, but it allows students to retain the information they’re studying, making the actual tests less stressful.
Cut out Distractions
When planning to study, it’s important to take note of the things to do, but the things that students should be avoiding are just as important. Many things can distract a student, making it incredibly difficult for them to focus. This prevents them from maximizing their scheduled study sessions. While regular breaks from studying are necessary, those breaks must be scheduled and timed. For example, a student can take five-minute breaks every 30 minutes.
Distractions can be even more detrimental when studying a subject the student does not enjoy. This tempts them to take unnecessary “quick breaks,” preventing them from making the most of their scheduled study sessions.
For a student to remain focused, they should cut out all possible distractions that might lure their attention away from studying. One way to do this is by avoiding using smartphones or other electronics. If they’re necessary for research purposes, turn off all notifications and avoid visiting websites that are not essential to the study session.
Use Visual Aids
Highlighting sections of a book or rereading notes may not always be enough to recall everything while studying, especially for visual learners. To study more effectively, these students can incorporate visual aids in their study sessions, making it easier to retain the reviewed information. Visual aids are proven to be useful in improving learning and understanding.
Creating visual aids like charts or diagrams must highlight the most important topics or subject matters. It’s okay if they are long and too detailed at first, but as the day of the test nears, these visual aids must be condensed. This allows students to quickly recall what the visual aids communicate to them.
Take Practice Tests
Practice makes perfect, as they say. This is true for many things, including a student’s study habits. There may not be a better way to test how well a student has learned the information they’re studying than by actually taking a practice test similar to the real thing.
By taking practice tests, students can determine which areas they need to improve on and learn more about. This ensures they can be prepared for the actual test and feel confident they’ll get an outstanding grade.
Organize Study Groups
Some people don’t consider organizing study groups when planning to study, as they think they can be counterproductive. It is because there’s a huge chance that they may be tempted into doing something else since they’ll likely be meeting with their friends or classmates. However, if they’re handled properly, study groups can help students learn through engagement, allowing them to be more prepared for the test.
Study groups allow students to surround themselves with students preparing for the same test. If a student has any questions or encounters a topic, they don’t yet understand. It’s much easier to ask another person who may know the answer. Plus, explaining concepts to others is a great way to revise, making this helpful for both parties.
The Night Before the Test
By sticking to a study schedule and following the tips above, cramming won’t be an issue the night before the exam. Instead, students should review the test’s main points briefly. This allows them to get to bed early without stressing out too much. Getting enough sleep the night before a test is important since it helps them retain information, decrease stress, and feel alert for their exam.
No one should take a test with an empty stomach. The morning before an exam, it’s crucial for students to eat breakfast before going to school. Students should also avoid caffeine before a test, as heightened caffeine levels can leave a person feeling jittery or anxious.
Arrive Early and Have Time to Relax
By being responsible and sticking to their scheduled study sessions, students can be confident that they will be able to ace their exams. The last thing a student needs when it comes to things like these is to feel anxious or uneasy, which may prevent them from focusing on the test.
It is also important to arrive early, so they can have enough time to relax before the test. Don’t forget to bring necessary supplies, such as scratch paper, extra pens, or, if allowed, calculators. That way, the student will only have to focus on answering each question on their exam with confidence.
Why is planning important in studying?
Proper planning and sticking to a study plan are important to ensure you are on the right track and remain focused on achieving your study goals. Planning is also vital because there is a high chance that you have a lot of work deadlines and assignments to submit, due to which it is common to forget about some of them, so if you have a strong study plan, you will be able to keep up with these deadlines.
How do you plan to study?
Follow these five simple steps to plan yourself to study:
Identify a learning objective to ensure you have a clear goal in mind.
Breakdown of the larger objective into smaller, realistic goals.
Development of the study plan.
Utilize modern tools like mobile apps and other learning resources to follow your plan.
Ensure you follow the study plan and hold yourself accountable throughout the journey to get the desired results.
How do I plan to study?
As discussed in this article, creating a study plan is the best way to plan ahead to study for a test or exam. A comprehensive study plan will help you be familiar with your study goals and cover them in advance without getting overwhelmed.
How do you plan as a student?
Many students tend to procrastinate and ignore the significance of planning. You can plan by setting goals, properly managing your time to complete a study plan, and using different learning resources like an app to track your progress.
How can I study smart?
Some of the most important tips to study smart are:
Study in short spans to process and memorize more information.
Have a balanced diet.
Use flash cards.
Note down the important points during the lectures.
Set goals and make sure you achieve them within a realistic time.