Are you tired of studying for a test only to get a low mark, or worse, a failed grade? Do you ever feel completely lost when it comes to studying techniques and resolve to just “wing it”? I have spent countless hours studying for quizzes, tests and even exams only to show up, look at the questions and completely draw a blank. I obviously didn’t grasp the basics of how and what to study in order to score a decent mark.
There should be a mandatory course for all high school students that teaches essential studying skills and the art of time management. The fact is, we aren’t “dumb teens” who don’t get the material. We just haven’t been taught how to properly study for tests and given an opportunity to apply the techniques in “demo” assignments. Mini-vent complete.
Rather than wait for the school system to rescue us from our study hell, use these tips to boost your grade point average NOW!
TOP THREE WAYS TO ACE A TEST!
1. Don’t Memorize, UNDERSTAND!
Memorization does not equal knowledge. The biggest issues teens have with studying is the belief that if they memorized the content, then the will crush the test. That strategy will get you nowhere fast. Trick questions, rewording of textbook content and more, appear on your test for one reason – to challenge you to determine if you actually understand the content. Memorizing plays no role here.
The solution: MINI QUIZ
The best way to test your knowledge is by asking someone (mom, dad, friend) to write a mini quiz based on the test material. The key to a successful quiz strategy is to first break down the study material into smaller, manageable segments. A quiz covering every single topic about the unit can be intimidating and add to your anxiety.
The next way to ensure you use the quiz strategy to your best advantage, is to ensure the quiz content does not contain any verbatim text. No COPY AND PASTE! Remember, this isn’t about memorization but about testing your knowledge. Changing up the way you are questioned about the content will ensure your aren’t memorizing the answers, but instead understanding why the answer is what it is.
Quiz yourself before you wreck yourself.
2. ASK FOR HELP!
All teens are shy on some level or another, preferring to crawl under a rock than be the centre of attention. Too many choose to suffer in silence than ask for help. There is NO SHAME in asking for help! If you don’t understand something, just raise your hand, ask what you may think is the dumbest question, and boom, you have your answer. I can guarantee you aren’t the only one in the classroom who is lost. Have the courage to help yourself!
I attend an online high school now and my greatest resource is my tutor! The fact that I have access to 1:1 time with my tutor anywhere, anytime is incredible. My marks skyrocketed the moment I reached out to my tutor for help. Seriously, I went from a 65% average in math to a 90%!
If in-class help isn’t cutting it, ask your guidance counsellor for access to school tutors. Many students tutor on the side and offer reasonable rates.
3. DISTRACTION-FREE STUDY ZONE
Put that phone away, turn off the tunes, get yourself a big glass of water and close the door! Yes, it’s as simple as that. Adding any unnecessary distraction to your environment will only lead to a crappy study session. You can’t effectively study and snapchat on the side. Use your study session as a crucial time to learn what you need to learn to ace that test.
Don’t study several hours without a break. This strategy only leads to mental burnout. Every 20 minutes, get up and stretch. Do a few jumping jacks for all I care! Shake it up, take a big chug of water and get back to it.
TIP: Don’t leave studying to late evening or all-nighters. You will feel panicked, not absorb the information or worse, fall asleep at your desk. FYI, Red Bull isn’t your friend either; it offers a temporary high and you will crash and burn the next day. Don’t resort to caffeine jolts to keep you awake. Study at a time when you are most alert, minus the Monster Energy drinks.
SCHOOL CAN BE TOUGH!
School can be very challenging at any given time and worrying about tests can cause EXTREME anxiety. The truth is, even the most prepared student can turn into a puddle of sweat at test time. Take several deep breaths and don’t over think it. Say to yourself “You can do this”, because you can and you will!
Do you have a studying technique that works for you? Or do you already implement any of these 3 techniques? Share below!