Basic Guidelines for Studying & Test Prep

June 25, 2019 0 Comments

When it comes to taking any type of standardized test, there are certain preparations necessary for doing well. From the large bulk of merely studying subject materials to the small details of sharpening your pencil, every test taker should be familiar with good studying practices to do their best. Although routine test takers may find much of this information redundant, reviewing this guideline is a good way to evaluate if you are capitalizing on your study habits.

What will your test be on?

Before you begin studying, the first piece of information any test taker needs to know is what the test will be on. It is important to know all of the subjects that will be included on the exam. If possible, further identify what subtopics are included for each subject and understand what format you will be presented with on the test. Take a practice test to identify the subjects and/or subtopics you are weak in to prioritize studying.

How long do you need? How long do you have?

Once you have identified what you need to know, it’s time to figure out how long you have to feel comfortable with the material. If you have a test date planned, calculate how many days/weeks you have until the date. Create a study schedule to immediately cover the material you are most weak in. Allow yourself time to study the information and also review other subjects. Making a visual calendar is a simple solution to pace yourself appropriately. As with most practices, consistency is a large factor in success. Instead of cramming a week’s worth of studying into a free evening, try to evenly distribute your studying throughout the week and utilize your free periods for longer study sessions.

Keep your study sessions distraction free to help maximize your time. Create an optimal study environment to make the most out of your time. Use quiet times such as an hour or two before your day begins or before bedtime when everything has calmed down. Eliminate distractions such as electronics, loud music, disorganized spaces, and household messes. If you have an opportunity to enter a quiet space such as local library or café, bring all the necessary items needed to support your study habits.

What Type of Learner Are You?

In order to study effectively, it is beneficial to understand that every student is unique in their learning style. By tailoring your study efforts towards your natural strengths, you can master the content in a way that is most suitable for you. To discover your learning style, click on the learning styles box below, or check out our in depth article "How to Study: What to Know About Successful Studying".

Learning Style Variations

Visual-Spatial – Do you like to draw, do jigsaw puzzles, read maps, daydream? Creating drawings, graphic organizers, or watching videos might be useful for you.

Bodily-Kinesthetic – Do you like movement, making things, physical activity? Do you communicate well through body language, or like to be taught through physical activity? Hands-on learning, acting out, role playing are tools you might try.

Musical – Do you show sensitivity to rhythm and sound? If you love music, and are also sensitive to sounds in your environments, it might be beneficial to study with music in the background. You can turn lessons into lyrics or speak rhythmically to aid in content retention.

Interpersonal – Do you have many friends, empathy for others, street smarts, and interact well with others? You might learn best in a group setting. Form a study group with other students who are preparing for the same exam. Technology makes it easy to connect, if you are unable to meet in person, teleconferencing or video chats are useful tools to aid interpersonal learners in connecting with others.

Intrapersonal – Do you prefer to work alone rather than in a group? Are you in tune with your inner feelings, follow your intuition and possess a strong will, confidence and opinions? Independent study and introspection will be ideal for you. Reading books, using creative materials, keeping a diary of your progress will be helpful. Intrapersonal learners are the most independent of the learners.

Linguistic – Do you use words effectively, have highly developed auditory skills and often think in words? Do you like reading, playing word games, making up poetry or stories? Learning tools such as computers, games, multimedia will be beneficial to your studies.

Logical-Mathematical – Do you think conceptually, abstractly, and are able to see and explore patterns and relationships? Try exploring subject matter through logic games, experiments and puzzles.

By creating studying guides, reviewing the material and completing practice questions, you have a solid foundation for doing your best. Using practice questions and sample tests whenever possible is a helpful method to track your progress. As you begin mastering the subjects, the ease with which you solve and answer questions should help you feel comfortable about the exam.

What Else Can Help?

Throughout the entire process, implement a self-care routine to align a healthy body with a healthy mind. Staying well-hydrated with water and eating natural foods can help aid your attention and focus during study time. Taking breaks gives your mind time to absorb information and prevent becoming overwhelmed. Routinely exercising, even if just a small walk or yoga, can help the mind and body destress. By giving yourself enough time to rest appropriately, you can maximize your mental focus, memory, learning, and physical well-being. This will help in the overall process and most importantly, to stay positive.

If you have approximately one month or six weeks until your test, try spreading out your studying routine evenly across your time available. Make it consistent and appropriately paced.

By clicking the article below, you can view our sample study schedule which you can edit to tailor towards your test and needs.


Sample Study Schedule

Smart Edition Media / Nursing / Published: July-01-2019