Alright, students. There comes a time in everybody’s school year that we must take some major tests. Midterms cover all that we learned over the past few months in school, and for many students, it is extremely stressful to take the mid-year exams. Thus, we can all take a few steps to reduce anxiety and prepare for any tests that are in the near future.
Studying is very important, and completely underrated when it comes to tests. Preparation is very helpful, even if it is last second prep. Here are a few tips:
- If you can, study a few days ahead of time.
- Study in different locations
- Study for about half an hour, then take a small break(about 10-15 minutes) to relax and regain your strength, for you are a studying warrior.
- Manage your time wisely. A technique called the 80/20, suggest spending 80% of your time on the 20% you have a harder time with, that way you can still cover what you do know, but give what you need help with that necessary time.
- Know how you learn:
- If you learn by reading, re-read any notes you have, or the books you have access to. If you don’t have any, ask a friend or a teacher.
- If you learn by listening, have a discussion with somebody upon the topic, so you can both soak up the things you need to learn. Ask a teacher about the topic. I’m sure they’d be happy to help. They’re there for you.
- If you learn by writing, then write down your notes during class, and while studying, rewrite them. It helps me a lot.
- Know a few studying techniques that you can enjoy.
- Flashcards help with memorization of not only the topic of the title, but the title of the idea or main point you need to understand itself.
- Digital Quizzing is super dandy. If you find that you’re anxious when test taking, then practice taking tests. You’ll get the hang of it.
- Folded paper helps, just like flash cards. Put the vocabulary word, or title of the story you need to know on the paper, fold it, and when you recall what it is, open it and see if your answer is correct.
- Acronyms are very helpful. People use them to remember all sorts of things. You may have used them in math for the Order of Operations(PEMDAS- Parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction), Trigonometry(SOH-CAH-TOA the Native American princess- Sine;Opposite/Hypotenuse, Cosine;Adjacent/Hypotenuse, Tan;Opposite/Adjacent), memorization of the planets(My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas- Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto), or how to classify organisms in science.(I won’t get into that, because this point is already very long, and I think you get the gist of it.)
- Rhymes, and wordplay are my specialty. If you make something catchy in your head, then it’s easier to remember what you need to know. We recently took a test in English, and we read part of the Mahabharata. I recalled that one of the main characters was a hawk. Thus, in my head, I called the story the Mahawkbharata. That may be silly, but I know I got that question right.
- Sing a song. If you can make up your own song to a tune you already know, then you can hold on to the information you need to know very easily. If you can get a song stuck in your head and remember those lyrics, you can do it with vocabulary and other things you need to understand. (We had one about cells 3 years ago, and I have never forgotten the words. As a matter of fact, now it’s stuck in my head.)
- Get a study partner. human brains are wired for relationships and communication. If you discuss the topic, or play a game together based on the subject you’ll recall a lot.
Test Taking Skills
Getting down to taking the test is often the most stressful part of midterms. Remember to take a deep breath. You can take a test, you have before. Here are a few guiding tips to help you along:
- I do suggest putting your name on your paper. I don’t do that sometimes, and it’s not a good habit to have. Don’t get a poor grade on something you studied really hard for over a silly mistake like that.
- READ THE DIRECTIONS. Yes. Very important. I tend to forget to do that sometimes.
- Read your questions carefully. Think about what the questions are asking you, and think of the best possible answer.
- Multiple Choice:
- Most tests have a few multiple choice answers that are automatic “no”s. You can often cross them out aware that they are not the best answers at all. If you narrow it down to two, your chances are much higher. Dissect those two you narrow it down to, and decide which is the best answer to the question you’re being asked.
- If using a bubble sheet, make sure you check to see if your answer belongs to the right numbered questions. It’s no fun to have to erase all of your answers because you skipped #2’s bubble..
- Cross off the answers you know aren’t correct
- If one answer says, “Both (a) and (b).”, it’s most likely the correct answer. Or if all answers are short, and one is written very in depth, then if you’re left with no choice, that one is most likely correct.
- Review any vocabulary or titles in your head, and answer the ones you know first
- Cross off the ones you’ve already used
- Ask if you can use the same word twice
- Ask questions if you have any
- Read carefully about what you need to cover in your writing
- Write a small outline for guidance
- Get to the point in the essay
- Support your thesis, or main idea
- Proof read
- Fill in the Blank:
- Try to recall the vocabulary that you do know
- If you’re struggling, look back through the test to see if you can remember anything, or find the answer in an earlier part of the quiz. Or, look around the room and see if you can recall any connections you made with things in the room that would refresh your memory. BUT KEEP YOUR EYES ON YOUR OWN PAPER.
- Pay attention to what you’re filling in, and see if you can remember the answer from the material given to you
A test doesn’t define you as a person, or everything you know. If things don’t go well, talk to the teacher to see if you can do some extra work to bring up your grade. If you don’t do well on a test, your life isn’t over. You can and most likely will find a way to fix it. One slip up with a test doesn’t mean the world is going to disappear from beneath you. And it doesn’t mean you’re a bad student. Take it easy, and see what you can do. You are completely capable of taking a test and passing a test.