Studying for exams can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you feel like you're a bad test taker and the idea of taking an exam makes you nervous.
If this is the case for you, remember that you can always ask for help and support from teachers and friends. Learning how to take a test, catch and learn to answer trick questions, make sure you manage the test time, do well, and overcome stress can be difficult but it is not impossible.
Learning to take tests will be helpful not only during your high school years but also to apply to college and during your years in university. You're constantly going to be taking tests, that's why you should become good at it as soon as possible.
Even though you should learn how to be a good tester as soon as possible, this doesn't mean that you can learn fast. It will take you time, patience, and dedication to learn how to be a good test taker.
As a student, you'll be grateful you have this valuable skill once you make it to university, and as you go further in your career.
In this article, we have some tips on how to be productive while being stuck at home and make the most of your study sessions. Remember that studying for an exam is not only about revision, checking class notes, or course review, you need to pay attention to your environment and get rid of distractions.
You can spend a day studying in an unproductive way or learn to focus for a couple of hours and get better results. All you have to do is learn how to juggle your resources and manage your time productive.
Check out our guide on how to study effectively at home.
Choosing your house to study
Many students across the world have no other option during the pandemic than studying from their living rooms. But now, as things are starting to open up, you might have other options.
If you still want to stay inside, you can still choose your house to study. Oftentimes, students who choose to study from home do it because they don't get distracted easily or because they're too lazy to look for another studying spot.
Let's face it, opening a book to read and review from the comfort of our bed is something we all want to do! However, if you decide to prepare for an exam (or multiple exams) from the comfort of your house, you need to learn how to do it right.
We recommend you get a nice chair and table to study and review for any exam or test you have coming up. If you want to make a plan with friends and study together, you can still find an ample spot in your or their house. But, remember that the first step to studying with friends is avoiding talking about things that distract you.
If you choose to study from your bedroom or your house you need to have a regular schedule to hydrate, eat, and rest. Since you're at home, and especially if you decide to study for exams from your bed, it's hard to keep track of time and other things.
Many people tend to start their work or their study session straight from bed and get so hipper-focused that forget to eat and even shower. Don't do this to yourself!
You can start your days by prioritizing, write a to-do list, and make sure you're working and taking care of yourself simultaneously. Your education is important but it should not come at your expense.
Below we've created a quick list of tips you should follow to study for your upcoming exams.
- Take control of your schedule - one of the most important things you need to learn how to do is how to effectively manage your time. If you're a hardcore procrastinator you will have a hard time for the rest of your student life. But if you learn to manage your time and your responsibilities you will have a much easier and more fun time in school and university.
- Use resources available for you - sometimes we fixate on our notes, and only on our notes. But this is a mistake. Your school has a library, your teachers are available, and so are your classmates. Learn to reach out and ask for help and support. You don't need to have all the answers to all the questions before the exam. Keep in mind that you can also go online and look for answers there.
- Reading is not studying - many students say that all they do is sit down and read from the class book or their notes. Again, this is a mistake. Education and learning are about using the material available to us and understanding concepts. If all you do is read and reread you're simply memorizing —not learning— and during the exam, your memory can betray you.
- Take breaks - another common mistake is wanting to study the contents of an entire semester of class during one sitting. If you tend to do this you're probably not doing well in your exams and that's because our brains need breaks and time to remember and understand new information.
- Don't start the night before the test - if you focus your attention on one subject overnight and think you will do well in an upcoming exam, you're wrong. You should review the material every day to ensure you're learning and create a study plan that takes longer than one day to prepare for an exam.
No matter how tedious homework is it is part of our education so continue reading and learn how high school students can effectively do their homework.
Spots in the house you should avoid
It's perfectly fine to choose to prepare for an upcoming exam from the comfort of your home but you should know what places in the house you should avoid.
For instance, a kitchen is often a popular place for students because you have a big table and comfortable chairs. However, choosing to study in the kitchen can be a mistake because there are a lot of distractions.
Your other family members can be constantly coming in and out of the kitchen, and in the process, they can talk to you and make you lose focus. Or, you can be distracted by the prospect of food and drinks, and instead of spending a couple of hours revising, you'd spend days going over the class material because you keep taking food breaks.
Other communal places are also a big no! For example, if your family has a desk in the TV room, you should ask if you can move the desk to another spot because your mother watching the news or siblings catching up on the latest episode of their favorite show can also be distracting and counterproductive for you.
Finally, as we already mentioned, studying in your room is always tempting but it can hurt you. If you plan out your day, keep to a schedule, and refrain from sitting in the bed, then your room can be a great spot. But if you're not getting up and doing all the work under the covers then studying in the bedroom is probably not good for you.
The first step you should take to figure out if an environment is proper for exam prep is paying attention to how many distractions there are around you. The best spot is probably your house's study, and if you don't have one, you can try the dining room table.
Check out these homework tips for students.
Don't want to study from home?
If you're the kind of student that doesn't like doing a class revision from home, don't worry, there's plenty of other options available for you.
- Library: you can try to find a spot in your school's library and stay there during the time it is open. Or you can go to a public library close to your house.
- Coworking: these spaces are typically used by people who work from their houses, but students can also use them. All you have to do is pay a fee to be able to use their space and wifi.
- Coffee shop: many students enjoy grabbing a drink and sitting in a coffee shop. If this is not too distracting for you, it is a great way to get some work done and get out of the house.
- Friends house: if you like working with your peers you can always go over to their houses and study together.
- Tutor's house: if you have a tutor we guarantee they will have optimal spaces for studying in their houses.
Do you need help and guidance with school? We tell you when is it appropriate to hire a private tutor.
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