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10.12 Key Takeaways
Review your past tests to learn from your mistakes. Evaluate your results and consider why you got answers right or wrong; think about how your studied for this test and what you might need to change about your study habits; and finally, judge whether you managed your test-taking tasks well. Next, correct your mistakes and write out the correct answers. Finally, make your past tests part of your study notes and make adjustments to how you study or take tests to prevent making similar mistakes in the future.
Frequent study is more effective than just studying before a test or exam. Study every day merging your class and reading notes, and creating questions for your professor on areas of confusion.
Apply or visualize the material to make it more meaningful and cement your knowledge by testing yourself.
Study in course units by using notes and text to create summaries or outlines of the material.
A least a week before a major test or exam, gather what you know about what the test will cover, review your summaries and outlines and come up with likely test questions to use to test yourself. You may need to go back to review sections of notes based on expected test questions.
Group study that is well managed can be an effective way to deepen your learning and understanding. Pick quality group members, meet regularly, assign a rotating moderator, set up an agenda and assign follow up work for group members.
Tests help use measure your progress but are not representations of how smart, talented, or skilled you are; rather, they measure what you know as a specific point in time.
Paper, open book, take-home, and online tests require different study techniques to help you prepare.
Multiple choice, true-or-false, short answer, and essay questions are common types of questions you will encounter and each can be tackled differently using proven strategies.
Math and science tests are problem based and require unique preparation.
Test Anxiety can interfere with your ability to recall knowledge as well as use higher level thinking skills. Simple strategies such as being prepared, eating, and sleeping well before the text, re-framing negative thoughts, and not paying attention to others can help. Often, relaxation techniques can help you minimized the effects of test anxiety. For significant test anxiety, visit a college counsellor for additional strategies.