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Monday, May 27, 2013

Studying Tips For When A Test or Exam is Coming Up Soon

These are studying tips that might be useful for you for the last 2-3 days leading up to an exam or test.

1. When you have 2-3 days before an exam or test, be sure that you have already understood all your lecture notes and done all your readings and problem sets. The last 2-3 days should be about reviewing materials a second or third time and not spent learning materials that you should have already understood.

2. I don’t advise to ask last minute questions to your teachers or professors since you should have already done this earlier, but clearing up any last minute confusions can still prove helpful. Since you will be pressed for time, I’d also suggest asking questions that you think will be on the actual exam.

3. Since you will probably be anxious from the tests/exams coming up, ensuring that you have prepared well ahead is really helpful when it comes to minimizing exam anxiety.

4. Get enough sleep and avoid all-nighters. The last few days should be about maximizing your cognitive capacities so you can perform your best on the test day. Lack of sleep really impairs our ability to recall materials and causes a lot of stress.

5. In terms of notes and problem sets that you should be reviewing for a second or third time, ensure that you spend your last 2-3 days picking out the most important questions or sections of your notes to review. You’re pressed for time so you want to be as efficient as possible.

6. Reteach the materials to another person. Since reteaching the materials help you test how much you actually know, it’s a great chance to help you figure out area that you might need last minute revision on. Furthermore, reteaching the materials help you remember it better.

7. Come up with your own questions that you predict will be addressed on the exam. I often pay attention to what’s emphasize during lectures to help determine the sort of questions I would get asked. Then practice answering those questions with as much accuracy and details as possible  2-3 times over.

Here’s a video that I created a while back discussing a systematic approach to studying for psychology exams: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muF7MPOfr6c&feature=plcp

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