April 17, 2008 : Ana Brooks
Taking tests can be one of the most stressful things a college student is faced with. Tests at Liberty can be as easy as naming the books of the Bible, or taking the four hour Praxis tests to gain teacher licensure. Some students find when they get to college that they have to apply themselves differently and study harder than they did in high school. Here are some tips to help make the studying transition a little smoother.
Most teachers supply their students with a syllabus at the beginning of the semester to inform them of the requirements of the class. Write down when all assignments are due for the entire semester and know how much the assignments will count toward the final grade as well as what kind of tests you will be taking (multiple choice, short answer, essay).
Know what is going to be on the test
Make sure to take notes if applicable for every class period. It is easy to get behind, and once you are behind, it’s very hard to catch up. If the professor doesn’t specifically state what is going to be on the test, make sure to ask. Don’t be afraid to ask questions - professors are here to help you and you will find that they want to make sure their students succeed.
Although many students tend to “cram” the night before a test, it would be very beneficial to start studying as the material comes available. Pacing yourself along with “chunking” (taking small to medium chunks of information and studying them for a period of time) are very important. Study groups are also very beneficial.
Study in an environment conducive to your study habits
Some people study better with loud music and lots of people around while others need quite places and no distractions. Find which area is best for you and seek it out. Some places for quiet study include your dorm room, libraries, and coffee shops. Areas for louder study may be coffee shops or open public places.
Some forms of studying
Making flash cards can really help when studying vocabulary. Other ideas include making practice tests or getting a friend to quiz you. Also, remember repetition, repetition, repetition.
Prepare your body and mind
Though many students tend to have test anxiety, it is important to remain calm when studying and taking tests. Reward yourself with a period of relaxation after each study period. Also make sure to get a good amount of sleep the night before the test. Caffeine rushes and all-nighters are not the kind of night to have before. It is also a good idea to have a well-balanced meal before the test. Food keeps your brain stimulated.
The number one thing to remember while preparing for a test is that teachers are there to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Also, it’s wise to make sure you aren’t just studying to forget... or studying just to remember a fact for a day. Try to digest the information and get the most out of your education.