You may feel that you can easily study for an exam; however, you can feel overwhelmed if you are assigned multiple tests for a day or week. Studying for various exams definitely requires additional preparation. Before you start studying for any of the exams, you will need to make a study schedule to follow. Once you know when to study, you can focus on how to study for various tests.
Method 1 of 3: Create a Study Schedule
Step 1. Review your curriculum
You must have a study plan for each of your classes. Write down the date of each exam in your classes in an organizer or a diary. You should also write down how much the exam is worth in the overall course. For example, if it is an entrance exam, your agenda could say "Second history exam, which is worth 20% of the course."
If you can't find your syllabus, check the course website or ask your teacher for another copy
Step 2. Rank the exams by importance
Check your schedule to see the day or week you have multiple tests. Since the exams are likely to be worth different amounts for each course, you should rank them from most important to least important. For example, your list might look like this:
- Biology exam: worth 30%
- History exam: worth 20%
- Algebra test: worth 15%
Step 3. Consider the grade needs of a course
Once you've ranked the exams by importance, determine if you want to spend more time studying for the most important exam. If your course grades are almost the same, you may want to do it. However, if you have a low grade in a course and the exam is worth less, you may want to study more for this exam in order to increase your overall grade for the course.
For example, if you currently have a high grade in biology, but have a low grade in math, you may want to spend more time studying for your math test
Step 4. Consider studying in order of test dates
You can also choose to study according to the dates of the exams. This is a good option if you have multiple exams throughout the week. If you do, be sure to plan your studies at least a week or two before your exams. Your schedule might look something like this for the week before your exams:
- Monday: study for the history test next Monday
- Wednesday: study for the biology test next Wednesday
- Thursday: study for next Thursday's algebra test
Step 5. Set aside specific study times
Once you have decided how you are going to study, schedule your exact study times and write them down in your organizer or planner. Be as specific as you can with the schedule. For example, instead of just writing “Study on Tuesday,” you could write “Study for the biology test on Tuesday at 1:00 PM. at 1:30 p.m. ".
Being specific with your schedule will help you feel organized and prevent you from wasting valuable study time
Method 2 of 3: Use Good Study Skills
Step 1. Consider your study style
Think seriously about how effective your study habits are. Write a list of things you struggle with when studying for tests. Make changes to your study habits to address these concerns. For example, if you find it difficult to concentrate while studying, try studying in a very quiet place. Or if you think you need to have a slight background noise, consider playing soft music while you study.
Do everything you can to improve your study habits before you start studying. This way, you will spend valuable time actually studying
Step 2. Review your study guides and test directions carefully
If you have received study guides or specific instructions from your teachers for your exams, you will need to refer to them while you study. These will give you a good idea of what to expect from the tests, so you don't have to spend time studying unnecessary information. Use your guides and instructions as checklists, so you can be sure that you are reviewing the right material.
Step 3. Study early and often
Studying a lot of things at the last minute or studying for an extended period of time just before the exam are some of the worst ways to study for one. You could remember the information for a short period of time; however, if you study for multiple tests, you are likely to mix everything up or forget critical information. Instead, study for short periods of time (about 45 minutes) and often in the weeks leading up to the exam.
Short and frequent study sessions help you remember and relearn information so that you are more likely to remember it in the long term
Step 4. Avoid studying at the last minute for the test day
If you have prepared for your exams in advance, you should be ready to take them. However, if you wait until the last minute to study for your exams, you will not actually learn the material you need to know and will increase your anxiety. Try to relax on the day of the test so that you can remember the information you need.
To help you feel calm before the test, make sure you eat something healthy and get enough sleep the night before. This will help you pay attention to the test and not just how you feel
Step 5. Break up your study sessions
You may find it easier to study several smaller topics for a single exam rather than studying all the exam material at once. Dividing the material into sections can keep you interested and focused while you study. This will also make you less likely to feel overwhelmed and stop studying.
For example, if you are studying for a foreign language test, you could do separate study sessions to practice speaking, writing, and reading
Step 6. Consider studying in different places
Studies have shown that using the same study location will not help you long-term remember the material. Instead, challenge yourself to remember and retain information by studying in different places. While it is not necessary to study each topic in a different location, you should change your study location every day. This can help you remember the course material on the day of the test.
Also, if you always need total silence to study or think about the course, try to have a study group meet in a louder place. For example, join a study group that meets in the cafeteria or student common places. This can challenge you to focus and remember information
Step 7. Study with your classmates
It may help if you study close to people who are going to take the same tests as you. Ask your classmates questions about material that confuses you, and take tests to see that you are on track. If you've missed a day of class, ask a classmate to lend you their notes to catch up on the material. Feel free to explain a complicated topic to someone else, as this will help you understand it better before the exam.
Method 3 of 3: Handle Multiple Exams
Step 1. Keep your exam information correct
You may feel like you have a lot of information to follow, but you are starting to mix it up. This is a sign that you need to step back to study. In order to keep your information correct, avoid studying for a different exam just before taking another exam.
For example, don't study for the Latin American history test you are worried about right before taking the geography test. You may find that you remember information from the wrong course and cannot remember the information you need
Step 2. Focus on one test at a time
It's easy to get overwhelmed by multiple tests. Remember that once you finish the first exam, you will only have to focus on a few more. If your exams are on different days, focus completely on that course for that day. This will help you pay attention to each exam. Once you have finished the exam, you can shift your attention to the next important exam.
If your exams are the same day, try to schedule a short break. Focus on the first exam, take a break, and then take your other exams
Step 3. Alternate topics when you study
If you have two or three tests, you might feel like you can't take a break when studying for something. Treat studying different subjects as breaks. For example, you could study history for 45 minutes and then move on to studying algebra for 30 minutes. This will change your mental focus and help you spend your study time more effectively.
To give yourself the most mental break, you may want to alternate studying a challenging subject with one that is easier for you
Step 4. Consider asking for a postponement
If you have two or three tests or final exams scheduled for the same day, talk to one of your teachers about scheduling another exam date. While some teachers may agree to do it for exams during the semester, your school may have a policy about offering a postponement during final exam week.