Whether you believe in the efficiency of tests as a method of evaluating one’s academic progress or not, you are still going to deal with them throughout your stay in high school and college. Along with how you do your homework, how you work during classes, and what grades you get for group projects, your performance during tests plays an important role in determining your overall academic success. If you want to do well in your studies, you will have to learn how to deal with tests – and we are here to help you with it.
1. Do Not Procrastinate
Procrastination harms your preparation efforts in a variety of ways:
- By putting revising off to the last moment, you can end up not having enough time to cover all the material you should;
- It takes time for the new information to settle into your long-term memory. The less time passes between the revision and the test, the higher is the likelihood of your not being able to recall the necessary information when it is needed;
- The quality of last-minute revision leaves much to be desired in the long term. Even if you manage to cram the data into your head, you are most likely to forget it all a couple of days after the test.
2. Give Yourself Enough Time to Prepare
There is only so much you can do in an hour, in a day, in a week. Despite sounding trite, it is an important truth to realize. No matter how much effort you apply, you will not be able to cram all your preparations in a couple of hours the day before the test. This means that you have to carefully manage your time and make sure you have enough of it to cover all the topics included in the test without having to hurry. The earlier you start to prepare, the better – this way you have more space for maneuver in case something unexpected happens. If you find yourself neck-deep in other homework, do not hesitate to contact an expert assignment help service to delegate some of it to them. Do not shy away from asking other people for help – if you cannot deal with your current workload alone, you have no other way. Right now preparing for the test properly takes precedence over everything else.
3. Do Not Deprive Yourself of Sleep
Many students find taking a few all-nighters preferable to spreading their revision efforts over a long period. It is not a very good practice, because memory is a curious and sensitive thing that seems to be heavily dependent on the amount and quality of sleep you get. It is during sleep that your brain processes and sorts information it consumed over the course of the day. If you do not get enough sleep, you simply will not be able to internalize the data you learned over your revision. It can be especially detrimental for your success if you study a technical discipline and spend an entire night revising right before the test – everything you learned will be scrambled in your head and you will have a hard time remembering anything.
4. Apply Spaced Repetition
Spaced repetition is a revision method that optimizes the memorization process. Instead of doing all your revision in a day or two before the test, you space it across several weeks or even months. Every day you revise the material in question for a little while, all the time increasing the periods between the revisions of the same items. As a result, your revision is not just less disruptive for your daily routines – it is also more efficient. You remember more of the material both by the time of the test and after it – which is, in the long run, why you study something in the first place. You can arrange spaced repetition using flashcards or an app like Anki that you can easily find online.
5. Plan Ahead
The more specific you are in your intentions concerning studying, the more likely you are to successfully prepare for your test. If you do not have a clear-cut plan of action, it is all too easy for your immediate tasks, work, personal issues, and so on to take precedence and occupy the majority of your time. The best course of action is to set aside a specific time every day to dedicate to revising for your test and prepare a detailed plan of how you intend to prepare – this way you will know for sure the amount of work you still have to complete.
6. Talk to Your Teacher/Professor
Many teachers and professors are fairly open when it comes to the contents of their tests. After all, their purpose is not to make you fail, but to make you learn. If you are in doubt as to how you should approach the test, ask your teacher or professor. He/she is quite likely to offer you a few insights – for example, what material is not going to be covered in the test or what you should pay special attention to.
As you can see, there is much more to revising for an important test than simply cramming the textbooks day in and day out. You have to approach this job strategically – and if you are serious about your intentions, you will be able to deal with a test of virtually any degree of difficulty.