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Best Studying and Test Taking Tips

Photo by: Laura Restrepo

As students, we all have test anxiety or general anxiety that comes with not knowing how to study. It’s important to know that this is okay, because there is no perfect way to study and it’s best to find which way works well for you. I know I am not the only one that freaks out when it comes to studying and test taking skills. With this being said, here are some tips from me on becoming a better student. 

Study Tips:

1. Have a Good Study Playlist– It’s good to have some tunes to study to so the silence doesn’t kill you, and it’s okay if it’s songs that don’t have any lyrics.

2. Highlighters- It’s important to highlight things that stand out, whether it’s names, dates, vocabulary, or other key details. One thing I do is make a key for each color highlighter I have.

3. Colorful Pens- With those colorful highlighters, you also need bright colors that stand out to help you remember. One thing most people don’t realize is when you write in pencil or blue/black pen, it’s harder to remember because it all goes together. This is why it is helpful to have some different colored pens to help separate the information. 

4. Notecards- These are the best tools when it comes to studying and quizzing yourself over the material. It also comes in handy for when you are on the go since they can fit almost anywhere. 

5. Rewriting Lecture Notes- I do this after every lecture because it helps me remember the lecture and write things that I miss. Plus, when you are writing something multiple times, it helps you remember for future tests. 

6. Prioritize your Homework– This is also super important because I know a lot of us constantly have tons of things to do, so it helps when you make a list and put the most important thing at the top. Start with what is due first or which class you have the lowest grade in, so you can get that grade up before worrying about the others. Then, slowly work your way down – it’s okay if you do not finish everything in one day. 

7. Study Area- Make sure when you are studying, you are in an area where you won’t get easily distracted, and that includes being distracted by your phone. One app that I use to make sure I focus is Forest, which is an app that plants a tree and, if you leave the app, the trees dies, so it helps me stay off my phone. Also, make sure the area has enough light and is comfortable for you, but not too comfortable so as to not distract you from your work. 

Test Taking Tips:

1. Make sure you eat something before every test.You are less likely to focus on an empty stomach. Also, try to chew gum or some candy to help you focus and not feel jittery. 

2. Sleep 8-9 hours the night before. When you are tired, your brain will not help you remember what you need to for your test. Being sleep deprived will make you feel agitated and unfocused.

3. If you are feeling nervous before the test, take a small 5-10 minute walk to relax and get your head in the game.Test anxiety happens to everyone, sometimes all it takes is a small walk and breathing in nature to help you feel more relaxed. 

4. Read all the directions and questions twice.Don’t skip anything! Check your answers!

5. Start with the last page and working your way to the front.This helps me a lot during tests because usually the last page is the most recent thing you have learned, and it is still fresh in your brain. 

I hope you all enjoy these tips. It is also okay if these don’t work for you, as everyone has their own ways that help them best. There are plenty of things you can do to help your studying and test taking skills; all you have to do is look them up and find what works well for you. 

Hello Everyone! My name is Laura Restrepo and I go to SFA. I plan to major in psychology so I can use my degree to help others and make this world a better place. I am a writer for Her Campus. I love to read anything and everything whether its books, magazines, blogs, fan-fiction, journals, etc. I enjoy all types of music; I am open to anything. I am also a huge nerd for Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings/Hobbit series. In conclusion, the perfect day for me consists of these things with coffee and cold weather.
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