How to Prepare for a Test
Preparing for a test that involves learning a body of info, like foreign language or biology.
by Mr. Matlack
- Start ahead of time, 3 or 4 days in advance, and do a little each day.
Why? Say you need to know the parts of a cell: their names, functions, locations, appearance. That's too much to learn all at once. It's much more effective to "layer it on," one day learning the names, the next day the functions, etc., till you've got it all.
- Start by organizing notes and/or worksheets, putting them in order, with the date at the top of each. Any missing? There's time to get them from a friend. Also, make a LIST of the topics on the test so you don't overlook any.
- Next, review one topic at a time. Study your notes, then close the notebook and write down all you learned from memory. Draw pictures and graphs; they are usually easier to remember than text.
- Then reopen your notebook and check your work. If you made any major errors, rewrite from memory the whole topic again.
- Then do the same with each topic that will be on the test.
- As you study, make a list of questions on what you don't understand, and bring it to your teacher for some extra help the day before the test.
- At this point, use your book only as a resource to check material that is still unclear. Leafing through the book is not a good way to study for a test! You need more active ways to practice the material, like writing it, as above.
Does this method take more time?Maybe at first, but as you get used to it, it will save time because you will "study smarter." Try it! One student went from a 44 to an 88 test score right away. Even if it takes 2 or 3 tries, you will improve!