Standardized Test Preparation: Countdown to Test Day

Posted by College Corner on 3/29/13 7:08 AM

academic tutorThe height of testing season takes place in May and June for many students. High schoolers are in the midst of SAT subject tests and Advanced placement exams, while college students face finals. During testing season, there are a bunch of things that you can do to help yourself leading up to the test.

Anchor your study schedule (and yourself) with these 5 study skills tips: 

1) Set a schedule and stick to it.

Create a roadmap for yourself that leads up to the test. First assess the amount of material that needs to be covered, then break it up into digestible chunks of information. Plot a daily schedule that seems manageable and stick to it. 

2) Invest effort in your studies.

Don’t skimp on studying. As an academic tutor, I have seen many students who count being in the library or having books as "studying". It's not! Make sure that you are thorough and attentive when you study. This means reviewing all your notes and study aids; doing all the reading without distraction; practicing problem sets or writing outlines; requesting help if you need it. Studying effectively requires effort, not just face time.

3) Achieve balance with rest and exercise.

Any standardized test tutor will tell you to even out your hard work with rest and exercise. If you run at full speed leading up to the finish line, you will be exhausted come test day, or testing week, for that matter. You will perform better if your brain is exercised AND well rested. Sleep 8 hours a night throughout the month leading up to the test and try to fit in at least 3 hours of exercise during the week!

4) Step Back.

The week before the test shouldn’t be spent cramming. Instead, assess all the material you have covered and fill in the gaps. Step back and do a comprehensive review. Identify any weak spots and re-emphasize concepts. Take a practice exam if you can swing it so that you know exactly what to expect. 

5) Sleep, eat and relax the night before.

Give yourself a break. Don’t study. Relax. Have a nice dinner and go to bed early.

If you’re not sure about what material you need to cover, how to start on a “roadmap” or need help clarifying concepts, contact us! We can definitely help. 

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Tags: study skills, college, high school