Test Prep

Effective test preparation begins the first day of class and continues throughout the entire semester. Success is determined by careful planning, time management, and good study skills.

Planning Suggestions

  • Carefully read the course syllabus for each course when you first receive it. Highlight the quiz and exam dates.
  • Prepare a study plan for the semester. Write all of the exam dates listed on your course syllabi in your academic planner.
  • Develop a study plan for each week. Write all set appointments in your academic planner including practice times, classes, study hall, and other meetings. Look ahead in your planner to be aware of upcoming exams and other deadlines. Break those assignments up into smaller units that can be accomplished during that week. Record your plans by listing what you will study and when you will do it (i.e.- Read psychology chapter 12 from 10:00-12:00; Review biology notes from 8:00-9:00).
  • On a daily basis, follow the steps outlined in your weekly plan. Check off those tasks you complete and make minor adjustments as necessary. Reward yourself for following your plan.

Time Management Tips

  • Prioritize what needs to be done now and what can wait until later.
  • Set a realistic time limit for each task so you can pace yourself.
  • Complete the most difficult tasks while you are fresh. Save the easy tasks and those you enjoy most for times when you are least motivated to study.
  • Plan short study blocks between classes to get the most out of your time.
  • Build flexibility into your schedule and remember that you can modify your plans.
  • Schedule time for study breaks, recreation, and interacting with friends.
  • Learn to say "no" or "later" to those who distract you from your priorities.

Good Study Skills

  • Complete all reading assignments and homework prior to class lectures.
  • Attend every class.
  • Review lecture notes as soon as possible after class. Regular reviews of class notes will improve comprehension and enhance your ability to remember the information.
  • Compare what you are learning with other successful students in the class. Hold study groups and compare class notes and highlights from the text. Take turns reciting important information to each other.
  • Write a summary of the most important information contained in your lecture notes and highlighted text prior to each exam. Then teach the information to a real or imaginary audience.
  • Meet with your professors for suggestions about what you need to know and to clarify any questions that you have about the material you will be tested on.

Ultimately, there is no substitute for self-discipline and hard work. Your success on exams will be based upon the choices you make on a daily basis throughout the semester.