When you need to study several topics in the same study session, it’s wisest to review subjects that are as different as possible. This happens because interference from related information makes it difficult to access information.
- As long as there is no guessing penalty, try to make an educated guess. Leaving a blank would be criminal. After all, you have a 50% chance of being right!
- Words such as “always,” “never” and “every” indicate that a statement must be true all of the time. These types of words usually lead to an answer of “false.”
- Words such as “sometimes,” “generally,” and “usually” mean that, depending on the situation, the statement can be true or false. Such words frequently result in an answer of “true.”
- Most true-false tests have more true answers than false answers. So if you’re at the end of the true-false section and you feel like you bombed it, go back and count. What’s your true to false ratio? If you have more false than true answers, you may want to go back and revise the answers about which you are unsure.
- If there is any part of a statement that is false, then the whole statement is false. HOWEVER, just because a portion of the statement is true, does not mean that the whole statement is true. Got it?
Before you bust out your bathing suit and bolt for spring break, you will likely have to face much maligned midterms. But taking the mid-semester test doesn’t have to be all that bad—as long as you prepare.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- The first step is figuring out what you need to study. Look over the syllabus, and ask your professor what potential topics might be covered on the exam.
- Next, make short summaries of every topic. Highlight areas of difficulty and ask your professor to clarify them.
- Once you have summarized the gist of each topic, you are ready to master the specifics with flashcards. By writing down information on flashcards, the studying is already halfway done. You can bring flashcards anywhere and save time by studying in unlikely places—like a long line at Starbucks. (There are other ways to review material too—check out The Study’s Learning Styles workshops.)
- Come into The Study for a tutoring review session.
- Make sure to get a good night’s rest the day before the exam—at least seven hours, if possible.
- Once the exam is over, pack your bags. Cancun is calling!
We’ve all been guilty of pulling the all-nighter, but it’s actually one of the worst things you can do in terms of test performance.
If you can’t get the recommended eight hours of sleep the night before a test, try to get a minimum of three to five, so you’ll be rested enough to focus. And don’t forget to set two alarms the night before—one on your alarm clock and one on your phone.
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Try these basic guidelines:
- Get a good night of sleep the night before and try to be in bed early. In other words, no cramming until 3:00am and no late-night TV or Internet. That way you can wake up a little early and not have to rush around because you slept through your alarm.
- Eat something! Being tired and hungry will only stress you out more because you won’t be thinking clearly. Try to avoid fatty or sugary foods and don’t overdo it with caffeine. Too much caffeine will leave you jittery and unfocused. Instead, eat something healthy, walk to class energetically, and drink plenty of water.
- Pack everything you need the night before. Then you won’t have to run around frantically in the morning looking for a pen or your calculator.
- Breathe. Think Positive thoughts. Take three deep breaths, and let all of your hard work studying pay off.
- If you start to get anxious during the test, take three deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth, give yourself a moment to regain your thoughts, and then move on.
- Check out the Counseling Center’s new website called “Relax Online,” which has some excellent relaxation and stress reduction strategies.
If you have serious anxiety, you might also want to check out the Counseling Center’s services at:
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There probably isn’t a student on the planet who hasn’t crammed the night before (or right before) a major exam. You would think that more recently viewed information would somehow stick better. However, research shows that when information is learned over a number of sessions, students perform significantly better on tests.
So instead of suffering a four-hour math marathon immediately before the exam, try studying in chunks. Depending on your class, an hour a day starting a week to several days before the big test should increase your chances of acing it.
For more Exam Preparation Tips, take a Workshop at The Study: (www.loyola.edu/department/thestudy/studyskills/workshops)
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