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How to Level Up on Test Scores This Finals Season

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ICU Japan chapter.

Studying for tests has to be one of the most stressful parts of being a student. Here at ICU, we just finished our midterm exams for the fall semester—and let me tell you, I am already stressing for finals! But over the years of test taking, I’ve learned a few studying tricks. Here are some of my top recommendations for test preparation!

Take notes during class

The fastest way to remember information is to write it down. Taking notes during class not only helps you remember the material better but it also helps you keep track of all of the information shared in class. And when you are studying for a test, you can always go back and review your notes as many times as you need!

Stay away from social media at least a week before testing

I have to admit, social media is a huge part of my life. I am always scrolling through instagram or have Netflix running in the background. But I make sure to stay away from it all the week before an important test. It helps me focus my time on reviewing the test materials and sleeping better. 

Take breaks

Many people often forget to take breaks when they are cramming at the last minute for their tests. Our brains, believe it or not, have a certain intake capacity over a period of time and we can’t force any more information in after we reach it. I usually spend forty minutes studying and then take a twenty minute break. Even during this break, I like to relax my mind by staying away from any reading or social media. Instead I like to rest my eyes and listen to some music!
Check out my previous article for my favorite music to listen to while studying!

 Keep track of previous or review test questions

Saving old quizzes and test questions can be a lifesaver when you are studying for a huge test. They will give you some perspective on what important points are for each topic. You can even use them as a guide for quizzing yourself! Especially now that most of us have our classes online, I recommend that we all use this technique to boost up our grades!

Use notecards or Quizlet to keep reviewing the main ideas

When it comes to studying for more complex topics, the amount of things you need to remember starts to increase as well. I usually keep a tab of new words or ideas that I am likely to forget on a stack of flashcards that I keep on my desk. I keep reviewing these cards whenever I get the chance—it only takes about twenty minutes a week!

Have group study sessions before the test

Making studying fun can be very difficult. When you have so many shows to watch and so many parties you want to attend, burying your nose into a book seems like a nightmare. That is why I always try to meet up with a couple of friends for group study sessions! This way, you get some studying done while hanging out with your friends. 

Most of us spend a lot of our lives testing—whether it be for school, university, or sometimes even work. But these are the six ways I’m trying to pull myself through this term! I hope that these can help you guys during this testing season. Good luck!

Is always listening to music and never paying attention. But tends to get around with things :)
Sarah Ishikawa is currently serving as Editor in Chief and Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at ICU Japan. She is a senior studying English and American literature. On her days off you'll probably find her at a museum, coffee shop, or just at home getting things done.