Here’s a list of test secrets we compiled over our years of operating SuperCamp and school programs. Some of them may not apply in all situations, but we’re sure there will be plenty for students to use in their preparation for tests.
10 THINGS TO DO THE WEEK BEFORE EXAMS
- Find out what kind of test will be given in each class and adjust your studying accordingly. For objective tests use memory techniques and concentrate on details; for essay and subjective tests, go for the “big picture.”
- Ask each teacher how much will be review of material from past tests, how much will be on new material, how much based on notes, textbooks, handouts, films, etc.
- If you missed any class sessions, get an A-student friend’s notes for that day to include with your own.
- Analyze former tests with corrected answers.
- Gather material you think will be covered on the test and organize it, highlighting key points and writing key words in margins to indicate main ideas.
- Identify and focus on the material you don’t know, rather than going over and over the stuff you already know.
- Make up a sample test and answer the questions.
- In study sessions, study your hardest material first when you’re most alert.
- In study marathons, take mini-breaks every 50 minutes to do something physical—run up and down the stairs, play with your dog, do some push-ups, etc.
- Get some aerobic exercise every day to reduce stress and stimulate thinking—jogging walking, swimming, dancing, etc.
5 THINGS TO DO THE DAY BEFORE EXAMS
- If there’s anything you still don’t understand, ask your teacher to explain it again. Keep asking questions until you really understand it.
- Review important material briefly just before bed. In the dream state, your mind can resort, recreate and review material so that it becomes even more powerful and clear the next morning.
- Give yourself positive messages: “I studied as well as I could. I will be able to remember the material easily.”
- Make sure you have everything you’ll need for your exam ready for the next morning.
- Get plenty of sleep.
10 THINGS TO DO THE DAY OF EXAMS
- Review your notes one more time.
- Eat a nutritious breakfast.
- Get some exercise—it encourages a better supply of oxygen to your brain during exam time.
- Allow enough time to get to class early. Rushing causes stress and mental crunches.
- Make sure you can see a clock from your seat so you can budget your time.
- Give yourself positive messages: I know this information and I’m going to get an A.
- Take deep breaths. Close your eyes and imagine a relaxing scene.
- When you get the test, write down key facts or formulas in the margin immediately.
- Answer the easiest questions first!!!
- Read over all of your answers before handing in your test.