As the holiday break comes to an end, many high school students will begin to prepare for semester exams. These exams cover a large range of information and can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if you have test anxiety.
To help lower stress and improve test scores, it’s important to properly prepare for these exams. Here are some tips to follow as the test dates approach:
Gather Previous Tests
It’s likely that many of the important concepts your teacher wants you to focus on will have been on previous tests. Take out all of your old tests and review the questions and topics. Keep in mind the teacher may not repeat the same exact question, but will focus on the main idea. For any questions you missed, take the time to look up the answer and make sure you understand the concept.
Review Your Notes
Look back through the notes you took or any handouts you may have received. Are there topics you bolded, circled, or highlighted? Compare topics on past tests with the topics and concepts you thought were important during note taking. If your notes are incomplete, get together with a classmate and complete them together.
Set a Study Plan
Having a complete set of study materials will do you no good if you don’t have a plan and a place to study. Here are some tips to help you create a study plan:
- Set a designated time each day to study.
- Find a quiet study location away from any distractions.
- Divide topics up by days and break them out into sections.
- Plan a day closer to the test date to review all topics or trouble areas.
- Mix up the order in which you review questions. This will help you to avoid memorizing information in a specific order.
- Always allow for extra time. No one wants to feel rushed or unprepared.
Prepare for Essays
Depending on the subject area, your teacher may toss out an essay exam or a few essay questions. While reviewing topics and concepts will help, try reading any previous essays you’ve written for the class while focusing on the comments made by your teacher. You can help prepare yourself by writing a few paragraphs on each main concept you think could be covered.
Set a Goal
Many students will do better on an exam if they know they’re working toward a specific grade. Review previous scores from tests, papers, and miscellaneous assignments and then review your syllabus. With a little bit of math, you should be able to figure out what score you need on the exam to raise or keep your desired grade.
Using your notes, essays, and past tests, put together flashcards to review. Make sure to mix up the order and time yourself. If possible get together with a friend, classmate, or family member and quiz
one another. If your study buddy doesn’t understand a topic, see if you’re able to explain it to them accurately. If you aren’t able to explain it accurately this shows you don’t have a solid understanding yet, and should spend some more time studying the topic.
If you have difficulty studying, can’t understand a concept, or struggle with exams, contact College Tutors of Michigan. Our staff of experienced tutors are able to help you succeed in a wide variety of topics.