Studying Smart: A Guide to Doing Better on Exams and Tests

November 24, 2021

Studying Smart: A Guide to Doing Better on Exams and Tests

Strategies to improve your test and exam scores while saving you time. The key is in studying smart.

Test-taking can be a challenge for many of us. Luckily, there are ways to boost our scores without necessarily spending more time studying. The key is to study smart. In this article, essay writer website will discuss three ways you can study smart: grouping information, tailoring your studying to the testing situation and understanding your professor.

Grouping Information

The human mind retains information a lot better when we group ideas, and facts together. For example, try to remember this random string of numbers, 842931135. First, try to remember each individual number in sequence, 8, then 4, then 2, etc.

The same can be done for facts and ideas. If you group similar ideas and facts together, you will be able to connect the pieces of information together and remember them a whole lot better. If you can find patterns or a rule that applies to the material you are reading, even better. In my psychology class, for example, we memorized the Big Five Personality traits with a simple mnemonic, OCEAN. O for openness, C for conscientiousness, E for extraversion, A for agreeableness, and N for neuroticism.

If you come into a test equipped with groups of information, you will do a lot better than if you come in with information scattered all over the place.

Tailoring Your Studying to the Testing Situation

If you are studying for an essay exam, it would be a good idea to practice your essay writing during your studies. Write some practice essays like a real essay writer for questions you think will be on the exam. Make sure you are aware of any spelling or grammatical issues you have and resolve them before taking the test. Often a tutor or a friend will be able to spot a few things you can fix.

One of my favorite places to study smart is in situations where your professor gives you a list of topics and tells you that you will need to write on a subset of them. Let's say the professor gives you 5 topics beforehand and tells you that you will need to write on 3 of them for the exam. Don't spend time studying all the topics. The key will be to study 3 of the topics very well, since you know that you do not need to write on all of the topics.

This situation also lends itself to grouping. If you can think about how the topics relate to one another, you don't have to spend as much time studying each individual topic.

Understanding Your Professor

If your professor writes the exam, it would be a good idea to take into account his or her psychology when studying. For example, if your history professor is an expert in one field of history, it might be a good idea to give that field some extra attention, as it will likely appear on the exam.

If your professor is a stickler for percentages and dates, then you will need to study them in detail. On the flip side, if your professor thinks getting the big picture is much more important, then percentages and dates may not be as important when studying.

Like many skills, studying and test-taking can be improved with practice. The more you use studying strategies such as the ones already mentioned, the better you will be able to use them for future tests and exams and the better mark you will receive. Good luck and happy testing!



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