How to Prepare for Tests back
The University of
Students who have been around the University of Alabama for a time have learned that just reading over their notes is not sufficient to adequately prepare for most college tests. The following are some suggested steps for really preparing for college tests. Keep in mind that good students begin the test preparation process several days before the actual test.
Step 2: Write
At this point you should be trying to get the "big picture." You will need to think like a college instructor (this is not as hard as it sounds).
Step 3: Study Actively
When you have figured out a new piece of information and believe you understand it well enough, then write it down in an organized fashion. It is up to you to figure out the best way to organize the material to make it easy to learn. Different students will use different methods depending on their learning style and the type of course. The method you use is also dependent on the type of test you will have (essay, multiple-choice, etc). It is up to you to be creative and figure out the most efficient way that will help you to remember the material later. Whatever you create should be neat and organized. Computer word processing programs will force you to be neat and organized, although they are not necessary. A blank piece of notebook paper can work just as well.
of displaying information to be learned:
This new material that you create should become your primary source of information as the time for the test draws closer. The process you go through in creating it will help you to organize the material in your mind. Your goal is to thoroughly understand the major concepts that will be tested. Within the major concepts, your goal should be to understand how all the minor points (terms, definitions, theories, names, etc.) fit together. Pay particular attention to the subtle differences between closely related terms.
This process of active studying must begin at least four or five days before the test. It cannot be done the night before. Your mind requires several days to process and store this new information. It is like a puzzle, you may see a lot of individual seemingly unrelated pieces, but it takes time to see how they all fit together.
This process also requires effort. Thinking and writing requires more effort than just reading over notes. However, the more time and effort you spend thinking about and organizing the material ahead of time, the better prepared you will be, and the less anxious you will feel when the test finally arrives.