How to Study the Night Before a Test Without Cramming

If you're like many students who keep procrastinating and procrastinating, you put off studying for a huge test until the night before it. If it's past 7:00 at night, then technically it's "cram" time and you crack your knuckles, getting ready for another all-nighter. It doesn't have to be that way, here are some tips to make an A on that exam without wearing your body out.

Steps

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    Get ready to focus. This can take a few minutes to even an hour if you have much to do to get ready. First, ask yourself why you haven't been studying for the past few hours and assess it. If you have been at sports practice or doing other homework, it doesn't matter.
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    If you have been procrastinating online (which you most likely have), then close all the other tabs on your computer except this one and what you need to study (which shouldn't be much). ((Note: if quiet music helps you concentrate, turn the radio to a station which plays only classical music. If you can't find one then use Pandora, create a "Solo Piano" radio or "Peaceful Holidays" radio which will only play instrumental.)) If you haven't been sitting on your bed for more than an hour doing nothing, then skip to the next step. But even if you've been doing nothing you should get up. Stretch, and take a break. Shower if you need to, make yourself a cup of tea or decaf coffee (you won't need caffeine), and be sure to keep a bottle of water handy.
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    Begin focusing. Close your door, tune out all other noises and turn on the lights. Get comfortable because you will be there a while.
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    Gather all the materials you need. Choose only the raw study guides, notes, and your book to use, preferably only the things your teacher told you to use to prepare for the test.
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    Begin by skimming through the entire chapter. It may seem like a lot of work, but if your test is not that long read thoroughly and completely. This will help you review before you begin studying your study guides and get confused.
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    Next, look at your notes you have and change them if need be. While going through the chapter, take a look at your notes to see if they are correct and complete.
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    Decide how much time you have taken up already: it should be no more than an hour.
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    If you have enough time, go back and look at your classwork and homework assignments. These are great ideas to simply review, because bookwork questions are often on the test.
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    If you don't have enough time, then look at your quizzes instead. These questions will almost definitely be on the test and quizzes are shorter than classwork and homework worksheets.
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    Study your notes next. Read through them once if they fill up more than 5 pages; if they are 2 to 4 pages long then read through them twice. Be sure you understand each concept. If you have fill in the blank notes cover the blank with your hand and quiz yourself using the rest of the sentence.
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    Finally, go on to the study guides your teacher provided or if you created for yourself. If you have a checklist or something your teacher emailed, then definitely fill it out now. If it's already filled out then just review it over and over, and quiz yourself on it.
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    If it's not too late, then do something quiet and relaxing until 10 minutes before bed (and choose to go to bed as early as possible tonight), such as reading a calming book, knitting, or anything but getting on your computer and losing track of time!
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    10 minutes before bed, review your study guide one last time. It is scientifically proven that reviewing before bed will make you remember it well.
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    Go to bed early. Relax and envision an A on that test!
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    Get up approximately 10 minutes earlier than normal, and review the bare minimum of your study guide. Don't spend too much time or worry about it.
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    If possible then glance at it again before the test, but don't worry and go berserk about it. If your teacher is laid back then use the 5 minutes wisely, or if not do it at another time, such as during lunch.
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    Good luck!

Article Info

Categories: College and University Study Techniques | Tests and Exams