Tests stress people out. The pressure to recall a semester’s worth of information in short period of time is intense. You need to be focused, and you need to be prepared. Relax. Take a deep breath. Everything will be just fine if you know how to prepare.
Here are five suggestions for preparing for college exams:
1. Show up to class interested and ready to learn.
If you have no interest in a particular class, don’t enroll in it. You get to choose your own schedule, so select courses that interest you. If you’ve enrolled in a class that you need to take (in order to fulfill a requirement), and you find that you can’t stand being in that class, then get out. Find an alternative while enrollment is still flexible. Assess the situation quickly, and if you are not interested, know how to cut your losses and find something else. You need to be passionate about your subject matter. Choose only the courses that you know you will be fascinated by, and you will have an easier time preparing for your exams.
2. Read everything and do all your assignments
Do your reading in a timely matter. Come to class prepared and ready to learn. Participate in discussions. Voice your opinion. Become intimately familiar with the topics you are studying, and when test time rolls around, you’ll already be prepared.
3. Target the most important material
Anticipate what will be covered on your exam. If you’ve gone to class interested, prepared and ready to learn, then you should already have a good idea about what’s going to be on the test. During the class session before your test, ask your professor about layout, format, structure and material. Write down their responses. Most professors aren’t trying to trick you, they just want to see if you understand the material. Clarify what you need to study for, and you will always have a focus for your cramming.
4. Find a study buddy in your class
Find a cool person in class, and get to know them. Exchange phone numbers and ideas. Pool together your combined knowledge of the material. Rap about your studies, and you will gain familiarity with the subject matter. This familiarity will help you out when you are racking your brain during test time.
5. Flash cards
If you have large quantities of info to commit to memory, then make flash cards. Spend time imprinting the information in your head by writing everything out. Then, review your flash cards regularly. Test yourself. Match up keywords with definitions, and you’ll be able to recall plenty of info during test time.
When your honing your study habits, find out what works best for you. Go with that approach, because in the end, all you have to is devise ways to make the material stick inside your head. However you can achieve that, make it happen.
Chris Stout is a frequent contributor to CareersandEducation.com Chris Stout is a feature writer that covers topics relating to MBA Programs and online colleges .