We are nearing the end of the school year and that usually means there will be increased testing. Tests can sometimes bring some feelings of anxiety. Preparing for a test and finding study habits that work can help to reduce feeling nervous.
Preparing for a test and studying might sound very similar or even like they are the same thing but are actually two different things. Knowing the difference and finding what works for each can help. Think about how you prepare for a test now or, maybe, how you prepared for a test in the past. What about study habits? How are you helping your kid(s) prepare and study?
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Ideas to Prepare for a Test
- Know what the test is about
- Make sure you know what the is on—chapters, book, subject. Knowing what material the test will cover can help you when it is time to start studying.
- Know the format of the test
- Find out how the test is being administered. Will it be done on paper, or will it be electronic? If it is on paper, think about the materials that might be needed, like a pencil or pen or paper. If it is electronic, check to see if there is a login that is needed. If the test will be taken at home, check to see if anything needs to be downloaded.
- Know the type of test
- Learning whether the test is multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, essay, or any other format can help to organize studying and know what to expect.
- Know the number of questions
- How many questions will be on the test? Knowing this helps with the next point, but also to practice and study.
- Know how much time is given for the test
- The time allotted for the test helps you know how much time you can spend on each question and practice for the test if needed.
- Practicing for the test would be taking a similar exam or making one from the study material and using a timer and the same format the test will be in.
- Have materials like textbooks, notes, or handouts ready.
- Use the chunking method to help improve memory. Group information into smaller chunks by making connections, organizing, or finding patterns. For example, grouping words with similar definitions or sounds when studying vocabulary, or breaking long words up by grouping letters in the words.
- This might seem a little old school, but notecards can help organize information. These can be used for definitions, where the word is on one side and the definition on the other, or for questions.
- Highlighters can help to identify certain things that are more important and can be used to categorize with different colors. For example, everything related to the nervous system is highlighted in blue, but what is related to the skeletal system is in green.
- A timer can be used to help focus for a set time when studying, to indicate when it is time for a break, and to separate the time studying for different subjects. Even though most of us can use our phones as a timer, this can also lead to distractions.
- Remember it helps to take breaks when studying. Set a timer for the break, too so it is easier to get back to studying.
- Using a magnifier when reading can help to increase focus on what is being read.
It is important to remember that everyone has different prep and study habits that work for them. It’s ok if you try something or your child(ren) tries something, and it doesn’t work. Look for something that fits and helps improve test and study habits. Looking for more tips and information, check out our other blogs available here!
Disclaimer: The information and content in this blog and any links and materials are not intended to be and should not be construed or substituted as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician and or other qualified healthcare professionals with any questions you may have.