Standardized Test Preparation: Summer Edition

Posted by The Writing Wizard on 5/2/13 7:05 AM

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With the school year drawing to a close, many students are gearing up for summer classes for standardized test preparation.

The summer can be an optimal time to prepare for an exam such as the SAT, LSAT, MCAT, or a number of other standardized exams. Students can focus all their energies into studying for an exam, without the extra demand of schoolwork. However, there are some pitfalls to avoid as you study over the summer. Here, we’ll discuss some of these pitfalls and way to avoid them.

Set a schedule and stick to it

The summer is always a difficult time to stick to a schedule because the days feel lazier, and you aren’t required to be up early in the morning in order to get to school on time. It is very easy to find yourself waking up at noon, getting a leisurely lunch, puttering around a bit, and then realizing that it’s already 8pm and you haven’t accomplished much. By setting a schedule for yourself, you will give some semblance of order to your day, and decrease the likelihood of your accidentally frittering away a day because you haven’t planned well. 

Be accountable to your tutor

Your tutor will be working hard over the summer with you to help you achieve your test goals. In order for them to help you, you need to put in a good amount of work as well. When your tutor assigns you practice problems or reading, make sure to do the assignments. Check in with them periodically to make sure that you’re staying on track to earn the score you’re aiming for.

Make sure to take breaks!

Intensive preparation for anything carries with it the risk of burn-out. In order to avoid burning out, make sure to set small goals for yourself and reward yourself with a special break when you achieve this small goal. For example, if you’re working on MCAT prep, you could make “finish chapter one of physics” your goal for the day, and when you’ve finished it, reward yourself with a nice walk along the river with some ice cream. Doing this will break up the monotonous studying and give you something to look forward to while you work.

Studying over the summer can feel like a drag, but just remember to keep your eyes on the prize! Good luck!

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Tags: study skills, LSAT, SAT, MCAT