With exams coming up, here are some studying and test-taking tips


Credit: Thea Pipe

Thea Pipe, Web Editor

With exams right around the corner, many students are reminded of the struggle to study productively and do well on tests. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to help perform better.

As far as studying goes, according to Top Universities, it’s important to take short study breaks after an hour of working. After about an hour of continuous work, many studies show that people can’t maintain the same level of productivity. On these breaks they recommend taking walks, cleaning your study space, seeing friends, moving to a new study space or being active in some way.
They also suggest writing a study plan for what you want to get done and how to do it. Be sure that it looks nice because you’re more likely to look over it again if it’s fun to look at.
Many people struggle remembering things like definitions and to help with that, Mometrix recommends flash cards and self-quizzing rather than just rereading your class notes over and over. Apps like Quizlet and Kahoot may be more helpful than class notes.
Others struggle to fully understand the material that they’re studying, so if asking your teacher doesn’t help, the Learning Center of the University of North Carolina suggests connecting the material to your own experiences or teaching others the material that you’re studying in order to better understand it yourself. The Learning Center also says that silence may not be what works best for everyone. Be aware of the types of noise environment that you perform best in, maybe loud music or friendly conversation will help rather than hinder.
Something you should avoid when studying is multitasking, as many studies show that it harms the quality of the work being done because you’re trying to focus on multiple things.
When it comes to testing, sleep is vitally important. The Learning Corner of Oregon State University says that a good night’s rest before the test can help keep you alert, decrease your stress and help your memory. Oregon State also suggests developing some pre-test rituals or habits to get in the mindset for the test and avoiding people who are stressed out or anxious about it.
While taking the test, Oregon State says to read it over before answering anything and then start off with the easy questions that you are confident in the answer of. They also suggest what’s called a “brain dump,” which is where, at the beginning of the test, you write down all the formulas, mnemonic devices, equations, or other helpful things you can remember.
Test taking can be stressful and overwhelming so try relaxing, taking time to breathe and think through confusing questions during the test, instead of getting stressed out. You’re more likely to remember what you need if you’re calm.
Finally, if you finish the test early, use some of that extra time to go back through the test once or twice to check all your answers and make sure you didn’t miss any questions.
With these helpful tips for studying and taking your tests, hopefully you’ll do well with your exams.