6 Tips To Do Better On Your Next Test

An experienced professor offers suggestions for how to do better before and during your next test for the best possible score

1. 1. Study shorter, but more often

Research shows that the more times you see something, the more likely you are to remember it. It’s hard to have the discipline to review after class, but at least take a few minutes while you wait for a class to start to review the notes from last time. It will help you to study AND on the test.

2. 2. Study with a little noise

Although studying with a lot of distractions can be, well, distracting, taking a test in a room full of others can be, too. Try to review the material in a similar atmosphere to the test, if you can. The library or a coffee shop is a good choice, as is a white noise app.

3. 3. Make sure you sleep

Staying up all night to study seems like a great idea, but you will remember facts better if you sleep on them. It’s science.

4. 4. Read the entire test as soon as you get it

Reading every question at the start helps you to plan your time. Just like for the SATs, start with the questions you feel good about so you can rack up as many points as possible before you start struggling with things that are a little shaky.

5. 5. Tell me what you do know

Fill in an outline of the key points for all essay questions before you begin writing them. That way, if you run out of time, you might still get partial credit.

6. 6. Don’t cheat. It isn’t worth it.

Are you underprepared this time? It’s better to get a low grade on this one test than to fail the class or even be expelled from school. Even if it doesn’t look like the professor is watching, we have ways of telling if answers are too similar between pairs of students.

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