Having an efficient and strategic way to master the exam subject areas is an important complement to mindful test taking. The tips and tricks included below are going to provide you with some high level insight to help you better prepare for your exams in the future, giving you a competitive edge and advantage you can use in every educational environment you find yourself in moving forward.

Spread out your study sessions

There’s nothing worse than trying to cram for an exam. Instead, you want to spread your studying and your preparation out over a number of days before the exam, never trying to swallow all of your material at once but instead taking it in bite-sized chunks, digesting them, and then moving forward onto new material.

Unless it’s a final covering the entire course, focus your test prep on the test, not the course. Instead, laser in on the scope of the material that the examination is going to contain, understand the type of format you are going to be tested with, and then make that the focus of all of your exam preparation.This approach will make a‹ world of difference.

Gather your materials

You need to be really efficient and really strategic with your time when you are pushing forward with academic exam preparation (particular with more involved subjects, like geometry test prep and algebra test prep), and that means you need to have all of your materials close at hand so that you don’t have to stop in the middle of a study session, root around and hunt for more notes or more material, and break your concentration along the way. Instead, organize EVERYTHING you might need before you start to dive into your materials and you’ll be able to push forward without any headache or hassle.

Trade for a set of second hand notes

One of the most intelligent things you can do as a student is to partner up with another and to “swap notes”, making copies of one another’s notes and providing them to the other as a study aid. You’ll want to use your notes and these new notes to gain a different perspective on the material, a perspective that would have been absolutely impossible to generate independently. You’ll see the material through fresh eyes, will be able to make connections you might not have been able to before, and will gain a higher level of understanding and more “altitude” in regards to your study prep then you would have been able to alone.

Feather the edges of the core concepts of the material

There are likely going to be a number of bedrock core concepts of your material that the majority of the examination questions are going to revolve around, and these are the core concepts you want to identify and spend the majority of your time preparing for. At the same time, you’ll want to “feather the edges” of those core concepts to study and focus on more ancillary information so that you are prepared for the more in-depth questions on the exam that do not deal with the core concepts directly.

Get plenty of sleep

It is vitally important that you get plenty of sleep the night before your exam (especially if we’re talking about math test prep) so that you are fresh, that you are rested, and that you are good to go. This dovetails back with what we said about avoiding dreaded cram session. You need to be mentally fresh to do your best on your exams, and that means getting at least six hours of solid sleep the night before (and ideally eight hours of sleep if possible) so that you bring your A game to the examination.


This article, titled “Academic Test Prep Tips” was posted by our friends at www.StudyWizards.com, a tutoring company based out of the South Bay Area.

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