Preparing for Tests
By improving your study skills and being diligent in completing daily work or assignments, getting ready for exams can be accomplished with far less drudgery, dread, and time. Motivation, self-discipline, and active learning is involved, as is the principle of repetition. Here are some key points which will provide good direction:
1. Start preparing for examinations the first day of class. Use class time to the best advantage, and keep up with daily assignments.
2. Keep lecture notes and text materials after each class session.
3. Keep up with reading assignments, and learn the material as you read each assignment. Bring questions on the reading assignments to class, and ask the instructor.
4. Review lecture notes after class and prior to the next class, so that you will not forget the material.
5. Approximately one week prior to the test: Finish all reading assignments, and correlate the reading with your lecture notes.
6. Review your lecture notes and key points of your textbook reading; review, condense the materials, associate the material with previous knowledge, use diagrams, talk the material back to yourself, review chapter summaries, and anticipate test questions.
7. Study the material which you do not know as well or have difficulty remembering:
Reread lecture notes and textbook sections that you feel you have mastered.
Skim to find special vocabulary or italicized words. Be able to define them in your own words.
Go through the headings in chapters, and relate the information that you know to the headings.
8. You may want to study with a study-partner AFTER you have
mastered the material. Allow some time to review, after you
have reviewed with your study-partner or study-group.
9. On the day or evening before the test, review all of the key
10. Get enough rest before the test, so that you are mentally alert. Approach the exam with confidence, knowing that you have studied thoroughly.
11. If you feel tense prior, to or during an exam, take a few seconds to relax mentally and physically, or proceed to questions that you know to restore your confidence.
Why Not Cram for Examinations?
“Cramming” is a last minute studying of new material. Now that you know some of the learning principles which apply, you know why this is ineffective. New information that is crammed will not be retained well because repetitions spaced over several days are a necessity for long-term memory. One has to have better and more complete mastery over the material to succeed and perform in examinations.
Information provided by Keys to Academic Success by Carol Rogne, M.S.; Distributed by Discover Inc. of North Dakota