College life can be challenging but nothing is as challenging as studying for a test. Your memory may fail you but most of the time, it all boils down to not having an effective studying strategy.
So how should you as a college student study for a test in order to get the desired results? Here’re a few tips on how to study for a test in college.
How to prepare for a college test
#1. Spaced out studying
You can study for a test in two ways; you can cram (I highly discourage this approach) or you can practice spaced repetition.
Spaced repetition involves going over your study material frequently as you near your exam time. This method helps you to retain information better and for longer periods.
It’s like preparing for a game or a guitar-playing contest. The idea here is to practice as you wait for the D-day.
#2. Give yourself time to study
Study time should go way beyond doing your assignments or projects. You should have a studying schedule complete with a timetable and ensure you utilize every minute of your study time.
Having ample time to study means you need to have good time management skills. You also need to ditch procrastination at this point such that no activity eats up your study time.
Whenever you have extra time, you should use a portion of it for studying. Identify the areas or subjects you need to study more and include them in your study plans.
#3. Review your notes and all your study materials
Early preparation is critical to increasing the chances of acing your test. This is because it gives you enough time to go through your study materials.
It’ll allow you to repeat difficult concepts and even book consultations with your professor whenever needed.
You are also able to know if you have good test questions and if you can answer them all with ease.
How to study effectively at home
Studying effectively at home can be hectic because there are so many distractions ranging from TV, frequent snacking, and noisy siblings. If you are to study effectively at home, here are some things you should do.
#1. Have a quiet and a dedicated study area
Having a dedicated study area at home helps you to stay focused. You are able to accomplish much when you have no distractions and there’s a clear boundary between your relaxation area and your study area.
#2. Have a daily study routine
Now that you have a study area, treat it as a library or as a class. Set your time for waking up, having breakfast, getting dressed and ready for studying.
Having some sort of structure when you are studying signals to your brain that it’s time for getting some work done.
Ensure you follow your daily routine every time you are studying for a test at home.
#3. Have a physical activity routine
Studying for long without breaks isn’t healthy. Therefore, have break times in between your studies to get some rest and recalibrate.
You can look out of the window, take a walk, stretch or jump rope. The break time should come in after every 30 minutes or so of studying..
#4. Avoid multitasking
To study for a test and memorize the contents requires you to concentrate on your books or study materials only.
Multitasking will have your concentration all over the place and in the end, you will have accomplished nothing. Therefore, focus on one thing at a time until you are done.
Studying effectively at the library
If studying at home isn’t a viable option for you, studying at the library is the best option you’ll have.
The good thing about the library is that its primary purpose is studying. Some libraries even have spaces designated for group discussions opening a door for students who love learning socially.
Follow the tips below to maximize your study time at the library.
#1. Carry everything you’ll need at the library
Before leaving home or your hostel room, decide on the subjects or the units you want to study on at the library. You can also bring any past or current notebooks to take notes on.
Don’t forget to carry a pen and a highlighter; to take notes and highlight notes that you had taken previously. Make sure you carry only the essentials as carrying a lot of unnecessary stuff can be quite exhausting. Besides, you can only cover so much in one sitting.
If you prefer taking notes on your computer, you can carry your computer. You should also carry your e-reader if you have any digital notes.
Pro tip: Before going to the library, check whether you can use the library resources like an online book catalog. This will lessen the load of textbooks you need to carry to the library.
#2. Use the library’s quiet floor
Libraries that have more than one floor have a quiet floor and it is usually in the basement or at the top.
Going to the quiet floor ensures that you study with the least amount of distractions. If there’s only one floor, get to the library early so that you can pick the quietest corner where there’s little or no human traffic.
If you get to the library and find it full, don’t study on the first floor or on the staircase. There are lots of distractions and you’ll end up accomplishing little or nothing at all.
How to study for a quiz in one day
You can study for a quiz in one day but it only works if you have been studying previously. It’s all right to have a full day or night of studying before the exam as long as you get enough sleep.
Enough rest is important on the eve of an exam. You can’t function properly if you don’t get enough sleep.
I wouldn’t recommend taking this approach deliberately – only use it when you have to or you get caught up with other unavoidable activities and circumstances.
#1. Be calm
If you haven’t been studying enough, there’s a possibility of being anxious. Therefore, breathe and let out all the anxiousness.
Anxiousness and stress will make it hard for you to concentrate or focus on anything. Remember you need every second you can spare at this stage.
Take 15-30 minutes to relax and clear your mind. Listening to your favorite song or doing some yoga will help clear your mind.
Just don’t make the little break more than 30 minutes. Have a timer and get to work once the little relaxation time is over.
#2. Find a quiet study area
The best way to study for a quiz in a day is by studying alone. This isn’t the time for discussions or study groups.
Therefore, get a good study spot with little or no distractions. Turn off your phone or put it on silent to minimize distractions.
#3. Have all your study materials
Before you start studying ensure all your study materials (course books, notebooks, pens, and highlighters) are ready.
You need as much time as you can get and picking one item after the other will do you no good. Have everything you need ready and you’ll save valuable minutes.
#4. Study methods to move quickly
To successfully study for a quiz in one day can use the following strategies to move a bit faster. But remember, some of these methods need some getting used to.
- Listing the most important concepts of a subject
- Studying whenever you can (even on the bus)
- Google for summaries of books you haven’t read enough of
- Teach a friend who’s taking the same class
- Utilize graphics like charts, graphs, and mind maps
- Scheme through the glossary of the textbook you’re using
Wrapping it up
Tests can be a nightmare if you don’t prepare yourself well enough. For this reason, you should have a personal study timetable to ensure you aren’t caught off-guard in the next test.
The tips above can come in handy – choose whatever strategy you’ll be most comfortable with. But remember, you have to be consistent and manage your time properly.
College becomes much easier when you have a study plan and it can set you up well for your career if you get the best grades possible.
How do you do your personal study? Did you like our tips? Let us know in the comments section.