Considering pulling an all-nighter before test day? Think again. You might think the information will be more fresh in your brain, but the pressure can be a make or break. Being tired while reading notes usually results with less information retained and facts blurred together. What you do know, you could begin to doubt. Then, as if the stress of finals week isn't high enough already, the next day you will be exhausted and will hardly be able keep your eyes open to focus on that test. Want a better solution? Study in chunks. Studying smaller amounts over several days will make sure that your full attention is given, and information will stink into your brain better. Studying multiple subjects in one evening? Take a five to ten minute break before starting a new subject of review.
#9: Utilize the Study Guide
Never know what to study? Teachers usually give out study guides. Fill those out. If there is something on there that you don't know, ask! You never know what extra tips or hints your teacher may reveal. Study guides may take some time to fill out, but become rewarding when you get your aimed grade. Teachers give students study guides for a reason.
Get some exercise! Wait, taking time away from studying helps? Yes, taking a break from studies by jogging, doing some squats, or even jumping jacks can relax your mind, and help you sleep better that night. Don't overload your brain. Get oxygen flowing throughout your body and then begin more review afterwards. If you cannot take your eyes off your studies, jump on that treadmill and flip those pages as you go.
#7: Repetition is Key
Need to memorize facts, formulas, or diagrams? Grab paper and pens, and get ready to memorize your notes by rewriting them! Muscle memory and seeing phrases more will help you prepare for the test. Create blank charts or diagrams and fill them in over and over with the necessary information. Get stuck? Once filling in as many blanks as you can, get a different colored writing utensil and fill in the answers while checking what you previously wrote. The more you re-write, the more you will memorize.
Studying for hours can be boring. Make it interesting by bringing your studies to life! You could re-enact a scene from your studies or build a 3-D model. Drawing pictures to help you understand or dressing up can also be other options. Doing some weird things will help keep those details engrained in your mind, and maybe make some wacky memories too.
#5: Reward Yourself
Don't have the motivation to keep readying? Reward yourself while you study! Pick a set number of pages to read or review notes (less than five is usually best). After reviewing the set number of pages, eat a favorite little snack. A couple goldfish or pretzels will keep you going and feeling satisfied. After finishing the final, reward yourself with another favorite, like a candy bar or an ice cream cone.
#4: Make it A Date
Study with some friends! Getting together with classmates and finding a place to meet is a great way to study (just try to stay on task). Discussing with friends and reciting the material out loud can help the information cling to your brain. If you can teach what you learned to a friend, then you're probably in good shape.
Ever have a big race and you imagine yourself crossing that finish line with your personal record or imagine yourself scoring the next goal at your game? Mentally preparing yourself acing that test is a great way to build that self-confidence. Positive attitudes can define test grades. If you think you are going to do well, and studied the best you know you could, then take a deep breath and start filling in that Scantron.
#2: Grab Some Grub
Love to eat? Certain brain foods can help you when the studying is done. A glass of warm milk before bed can cozy you up to get that good night’s rest before test day. It is hard to do well if you fall asleep during the allotted time of a test. Hot cocoa can help trigger your memory. Mints during the test can have the same effect, and those are easy to put in your pockets on test day.
#1: Color Code
Color coordinating your notes can help you memorize your terms and concepts. This method works especially well with note cards. The brain can associate different words with colors. If you get stuck on test day, a color might help trigger that word you need, and help you choose the right answer.