How to Prepare for a Test

Five Parts:Setting up revisionRevising for the testTaking breaks and relaxing sufficientlyUndertaking the testPost test

Studying for tests may be one of the most difficult parts of school. It can be difficult to remember the material and understand which points to study. If you feel discouraged about an approaching test and need some direction for preparing yourself, consider using the following suggestions to help you out.

Part 1
Setting up revision

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    Schedule your study sessions. In order to ensure that you are familiar with the test material, make plans to study on a regular basis. Organize your time so that you will have studied all your notes by the test date. Giving your brain enough time to process the information will allow you to recall more information when taking the test. It may help to write down your plans in a calendar or planner so that you are aware of the deadline. Avoid procrastination, as your brain will retain very little from cramming sessions.
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    Set up specific goals. By listing your objectives and setting them in stone, you will be able to plan your schedule as needed. Once you see what you need to accomplish, you can organize your priorities in order to ensure that your missions are completed. However, be sure that you realize your limits and do not go overboard; otherwise, you may quickly become overwhelmed.

Part 2
Revising for the test

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    Go through what you have been learning during the school year. Maybe you could display what you have learned in a spider diagram or map out when, what, how and why you learned these certain things.
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    Aim foremost to understand the concepts. Keep the important points in mind, and ignore unnecessary information. As long as you remain focused on the main topics and state the facts, you will be able to do well on the test.
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    Ask your teacher for help. When the need arises, it is best to receive direct help from the professional. Ask your teacher to summarize the topic with all the important points. You could also ask him/her for a set of questions and answers that could help you memorize the information. If your notes are unreliable, find another student and ask to copy his/her notes.
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    Practice in everyday life. Fit reviewing into everyday life by sticking up notes with sentences you need to remember for the test written upon them. You will notice it everyday and it won't seem to boring or dull. You could possibly put one on the bathroom mirror, one at the table and another by the TV. This is optional but highly recommended.
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    Review your test material. Once you have studied all the information, quiz yourself using flash cards or a set of questions to make sure that you understand the material. You could also ask a family member or a friend for help.
    • Gathering your friends into a study group is another option, although you should make sure that they don't distract you.
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    Mark your practice tests. Find out how much you remember certain things and what's missing.
    • Decide what you did well in and what you did not so well in. This may boost your chances at getting more marks in the assessment and may also help you remember for next time. For instance, if you are struggling on maths problems based on geometry, then put this down as something that you need to review that tiny bit more than the subjects you are good at.
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    Review often but little. Do not push yourself and try reviewing everything in one day. Practice takes time and if you rush, you won't remember anything.

Part 3
Taking breaks and relaxing sufficiently

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    Remain relaxed. During your study sessions, it is important to clear all pressure and stress from your body. You should calm yourself down in order to retain as much information as possible. Find an appropriate study location that has a relaxing atmosphere, such as the outdoors. Add soft music for a pleasant environment. If you find that you are having trouble focusing, stop for a short time and participate in a relaxing activity.
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    Have regular study breaks. In between study sessions, lie down on a hard surface for at least ten minutes to allow your brain to rest. You can participate in relaxing activities to relieve your body of stress or pressure. You can refill your energy levels by grabbing healthy snacks, such as fruits and nuts. If necessary, set a timer to remind yourself when your break is over.
    • Give yourself a blissful break in between. After reviewing, do something which will take your mind off things. Maybe go bowling or have a warm shower to release stress and to relax.
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    Remain calm about the test. Although you may be nervous about taking it, understand that your life does not depend upon it. As long as you finish your assignments and do well on your other tests, one test will not drastically affect your grade, as there are other projects to support it. Understand that as long as you employ effective study methods, you will do well.
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    Don't be concerned about another person's levels of achievement, stress or worry because you should worry about yourself. Someone may be reviewing more than you or not reviewing at all, but don't worry about this. You should review until you understand the subject fully. Everyone practices to different extents. Some will learn slower than others and some will learn quicker. This does not affect your intelligence.
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    Rest. Be sure that you receive at least eight hours of sleep per night, as this is essential to keeping your brain healthy and focused. A lack of sleep will cause your energy level to deplete, resulting in an inability to pay close attention to important tasks. You should consider going to bed early in order to ensure that you are well rested.
    • It is important that you sleep on the night before the test. Avoid staying up to cram, as your brain will not be able to retain the information. You will have no energy for the next day.
    • Set yourself a bedtime about half-an-hour earlier than your usual bedtime so that you get more time sleeping. Also, while you are trying to get to sleep, don't let those worries eat away at your mind. Another day will come and that is another bunch of opportunities awaiting. Just forget about stressing over the tests and think positive thoughts inside your mind. Now is your time to relax and you don't want to let your worries take over.
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Part 4
Undertaking the test

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    Do your best on the test. On the day of the test, eat a healthy breakfast to ensure that you have enough energy to get through the day. Give yourself a quick review on the test material, but avoid cramming as that will do you little good. Tell yourself that you have done your best to study, and that's all that matters.

Part 5
Post test

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    Reward yourself. Whatever the results of your test, give yourself a prize for studying so hard. As long as you do your best, you deserve a treat for working so hard. However, once you receive your test results, check to see which areas you could improve in and whether your study methods could use work. Adjust accordingly and aim to do even better next time.


  • Work in a quiet spot that has no distractions.
  • Divide your efforts carefully and on the day before the test, review all of the material.
  • If your parents know about the test, you can ask them to quiz you.
  • Make flash cards and have someone quiz you. If you don't have someone to quiz you, quiz yourself by writing the question on one side and the answer or prompt on the other.
  • Take the main points from your textbook and put them together on one sheet of paper so it is easier to study.
  • Find a friend who studies the same way you do and go over the material with them.
  • Have a good breakfast on the day of the test.
  • Breathe deeply right before the test.
  • Convert the long answers into bullet points.


  • Do not let the tests take over your life; allow yourself some relaxation time too, otherwise stress will get the better of you.
  • Avoid spending too much time on electronic devices unless it's actual revising.
  • Do not go to sleep too late before a test.
  • Don't get concerned about scores and grades and how other people did, just think about what you did. Think about who you are trying to impress!

Things You'll Need

  • A healthy balanced diet and a filling breakfast
  • A revision book (optional)
  • A collection of suitable stationery

Article Info

Categories: Tests and Exams