How to Study for a Test: 5 Tips and Tricks

Posted August 7, 2020 by in Lifestyle
woman studying

Did you know that your ability to internalize new information can drop up to 40% from a lack of sleep? 

So, if you were thinking about pulling an all-nighter to study for your next test, stop, and see what you can do instead. Learn how to study for a test and retain the information to help you ace the exam:

man highlighting a book

  1. Study Tips: How to Study for a Test?

Besides getting a good night’s rest, here are some basic study tips you can use to prepare for your next test. 

  • Prepare Your Study Session– Organize your time into blocks. 
  • Teach Concepts Within a Study Group – Practice explaining concepts to other people and see how well you can articulate them or if you need work. 
  • Study in Advance for Shorter Periods of Time – Expose your brain to smaller but more frequent amounts of information. This is proven to help long-term retention.
  • Use Visuals – Color-coding notes, flashcards, or drawing diagrams can make information stand out to your brain.
  • Take Breaks – Allow your brain to reset by taking breaks and giving it time to absorb information.

With studying, you might find that less is more. For many students, it’s tempting to spend hours cramming the night before the test but these tips can actually help you increase your productivity by doing less.

  1. Anticipating the Test 

Sometimes taking a test is less about what the questions are asking and more about how they’re asked. 

If you don’t want to get stuck on the test because you simply can’t understand a question, there’s a way to prepare for those questions. 

Make copies of any homework assignments with questions that you’ve completed in the past and turn them into tests by redacting your previous answers. You can then study these questions and practice answering them in a test format. 

Practice tests can help you study for standardized tests as well. 

For example, a TEAS practice test can help familiarize you with specific information you should know for fields related to the health sciences.

If you’re studying for a test from a regular course, you can use previous tests that you’ve completed to learn from your mistakes. 

You may even be able to request practice tests from your instructor if they’re willing to provide you one. 

Studying from previous material allows you to identify patterns in the questions and evaluate what information your instructor values most to use on a test. 

You can use these blank homework assignments, tests, or flashcards to coax your brain into retrieving information. Naturally, you’ll discover what you actually know vs. what you think you know. 

  1. Internalization and Memorization

If your instructor wants to go deeper than the surface-level memorization of terms, the test may ask you how a principle works instead of what the principle is. 

To be prepared, you should be able to identify when that principle is in effect, through examples. 

Memorizing examples of active principles helps you internalize the traits and patterns of the principles themselves so that you can recognize them when you see them.

Students tend to focus on how they memorize rather than what they memorize. However, memorization is all about picking the right information to repeatedly put in front of your brain.

How to Study for a Test and Stay Sane

Every student has to find a unique method to study that works for them and these tips can help you find that method. When you’re figuring out how to study for a test, remember to take care of yourself by eating, resting, and drinking plenty of water to improve your state of mind. 

Have you successfully studied for tests in the past? Leave a comment below and tell us how you did it!