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  • Writer's pictureRay Pelletier

15 Study Tips to Use Before Your Next Test

One of the biggest issues many students face in school, especially as they begin to grow older, is studying. To remedy this, we here at Vern would like to provide some studying advice so you are not falling behind when tests become more difficult and studying is necessary, even if you do not need to study for your exams nowadays. Each piece of advice has been picked by one of our tutors as their most useful studying tip, so be on the outlook for similar studying tips: these have been chosen as the best tips by multiple of our tutors. With this being said, let's get into 10 study tips that our tutors at Vern recommend to any student looking to perform well on their exams.

  1. Do a quick (5-20 mins) review of the content a few days before the test. You can do this using your notes, a study guide, or any other available resources such as online videos and handouts from class. Even if you believe that you understand all of the material, a quick rundown can find major gaps in your knowledge or help you to create a few reminders about specifics that you can read before you take the test. I understand that fitting this review into one's schedule days ahead can be difficult, but it is still worth it to do this type of review especially because it is quick and can alert you if don't truly understand the subject as well as you thought.

  2. Become the Expert: Teach it to Master it Even if you feel confident about a topic, the easiest way to confirm that you truly understand it is by explaining it to others. This can be to anyone or anything - including pets, family, friends, etc. Putting information into your own words and teaching it to someone else forces you to truly understand it on a deeper level.

  3. Study Smarter Not Harder Try and set aside a specific slot of time where you put all distractions away. Yes, this includes your phone! Somewhere between an hour to an hour and half, and do as much work as you can. Then take a 30 minute break and repeat until you’re done everything you want to get done.

  4. Try teaching content to somebody whether it is a family member, friend, pet, or even an imaginary audience. Experiment with teaching the material to someone else, even if it's an imaginary audience. By explaining concepts aloud, you're reinforcing your own understanding and identifying areas where you might need further clarification. Plus, it's a great way to simulate the pressure of explaining concepts during an exam, helping you to retain information more effectively. Personally, I find that teaching the material to an imaginary friend or even my pet helps me to solidify my understanding and recall it more easily during exams. It might sound unconventional but give it a try!

  5. Make and Study a Quizlet I usually make or find a Quizlet online. If I make one, then I utilize the different Quizlet features such as their games and the AI that helps you quiz yourself. Quizlet is a viable study option for virtually every study class other than math as usually all other classes have definitions/terms that I should know.

  6. PRACTICE your material daily for 3 days I believe practicing the material is always the best way to study because it gets your brain thinking. If you do daily practice, you are able to train your brain every day to be used to that type of thinking. My 3-day rule helps one find out what they need to study. On the first day, I study everything and write down what I am struggling on. On the second day, I focus more on what I was struggling on. However, I still make time for the rest of the unit. Finally, on the third day, I try to practice all the material to the best of my ability, and I watch videos on specific parts if I am still stuck.

  7. Force yourself to study for 15 minutes The hardest part about studying is getting started, especially if it is a long project or assignment. Thus, getting yourself into 15-minute rapid study sessions will often lead you into getting into a zone of studying, where you study for one, two, or even more hours at a time. By tricking your brain into thinking that you will only study for 15 minutes, however, it is much easier to get started.

  8. Recall Notes from memory and go back to the ones you got incorrect Something that I do to study for classes is to go over the material first, then summarize/list what you remember. This can either be recorded on paper or verbally repeated to a friend/listener. Next, compare your recall to the actual notes and compare what you missed. Then summarize/list your information a second time. Repeat until you didn't miss any information from the original material.

  9. Share what you learned with others (the material that we go over, teach it to other people so you retain it) Teaching is a great way to retain information and remember what you are taught. Although you are being taught in a class, expanding on what you learned or remember to your family members or friends and speaking about what you learned tends to help with effective learning.

  10. I feel as if you have a passion for a class, you will do great in it. Tutoring reinforces the importance of understanding concepts rather than memorizing information. It encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Effective tutoring requires clear and concise communication. Both tutors and students learn the value of expressing ideas clearly and asking questions when needed.

  11. Use online resources like Quizlet to help you review for tests. Quizlet is a good resource to study with since it provides multiple options you can use to study with. They have flash cards which are useful if you need to learn terms or facts, tests that you can use to practice, and a matching game to test your memory. You can look up study sets for classes you are in or make your own Quizlet for the topic you need.

  12. For classes in which you struggle to grasp or connect concepts and themes, try taking notes nonlinearly. The most common way of taking notes is writing the headers and expanding with bullet point examples underneath. However, this limits your ability to see concepts big picture or add details and your own thoughts. If you use more dynamic and less structured note taking methods, (e.g. drawing arrows towards different blocks of text, color coding, etc.), it may help to organize information better suited to the topic or your learning habits.

  13. Set goals for yourself before you start reviewing your material. Setting goals can be very beneficial to you staying on task and focused on achieving goals. Setting goals or checkpoints for me has helped make my studying my number one priority and it got rid of any distractions around me. Studying is super important for tests, and it can gain you a lot of extra points for yourself and that obviously will result in a better grade in your class, so keep yourself on task and set goals and maybe even incentives like study one topic for 30 minutes and then take a 5-minute break.

  14. Organize Your Study Space It is helpful to ensure your study area is clean, well-lit, and free from distractions. By placing unnecessary distractions, such as your phone, can make you less tempted by unrelated items or activities nearby. Without visual clutter, your mind can more easily stay focused on the task at hand, leading to increased productivity and efficiency. Organizing to your liking also ensures maximum comfortable study time. Getting rid of extra clutter can also allow for a reduction of stress to maximize productivity and make studying a slightly more enjoyable experience.

  15. Get rid of distractions that might stop you from studying productively.

Having a phone next to you when you study can be a big distraction, especially with all the notifications that you might get. What I do to stop myself from reaching for my phone is by putting it on "do not disturb" so that I don't get as many notifications. Also, I set screen times for apps that I tend to use a lot, such as TikTok and Instagram. Even if I pick up my phone, I won't be able to use apps that are most distracting to me. This has helped me stay on task for much longer and made studying a lot more productive than it did when I was constantly reaching for my phone.

Try these tips on your next test and let us know how else we can help you at!

Ray Pelletier

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