Though midterm season is finished for the most part, it seems like the tests and quizzes are never-ending. It also seems like all of our professors band together in an effort to ruin our lives by giving us all of our tests for each class during the same day or week. This is less than awesome, and I’m sure I’m not the only collegiette who feels completely unmotivated when the once-a-month test and quiz binge week rolls around. However, we’ve got some great advice for all of you collegiettes for the best test success.
1. Practice tests are tedious, but worth it. If your professor is generous enough to give you a study guide before a big test, make your own test out of it. This can be done simply by retyping the topics on the study guide into question format. So you’re not tempted to use Google or your books, print out the practice test and take it to a library or study room to work on. When you finish it, you’ll know what you really need to study and work on. Each time you test yourself with a practice test, mix up and reword questions. If you do this, you will comprehend the material better since you won’t simply be memorizing answers in a specific order.
2. A few weeks ago, I told you about why getting an adequate amount of sleep is so important (see: http://www.hercampus.com/school/arizona/goodnight-why-you-need-least-7-hours-sleep). This is true especially for the night before a test. I’m sure you’re tempted to stay up late and cram, but it’s better to be well-rested and cram in the A.M. with a clear mind than to show up to a test with no sleep and little recollection of everything you tried to study. Sleep has been proven to help improve your memory, so sleep on!
3. You’ve heard it time and time again: a well-balanced meal is the key to test success. Personally, I like to savor every last minute of sleep possible, so it’s quite uncommon for me to wake up early just so I can eat breakfast. However, on test days, I make an effort to get myself out of bed so I have enough time to eat a breakfast full of good carbs, protein and often lots of caffeine. Oatmeal, breakfast burritos, and fruit are all excellent choices to fill yourself up and get your brain working!
4. Perhaps it’s my Catholic high school upbringing, but I am a firm believer in the rule of Dress Well, Test Well. Never heard of it? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. When you dress up and feel confident, you’re bound to do well on whatever task is at hand. This isn’t to say you need to bring out your senior prom dress, but an upgrade from the daily Nike shorts and U of A pullover could never hurt your confidence level. When you walk into a test knowing you look (and therefore feel) awesome, you’ll be more likely to ace your test with flying colors. Give it a shot!
5. This rule is the hardest to follow but arguably the most important: don’t procrastinate on studying! I understand feeling 100% unmotivated to study, but the last thing you want to do to is start studying for a 300 point test at 11 pm the night before it happens. If you start studying for a test at least a week before it happens, you will feel much less stressed once the night before/morning of rolls around. This will ease the info into your mind, instead of trying to cram it all in at once. I know this is easier said than done, but you can never go wrong with preparing yourself.
Good luck, collegiettes!