Ace your exams! Our 20 best study tips ever
When it comes to studying, procrastination is something we're all guilty of. But remember, it's never too early (or too late) to develop solid study skills. Want to show mom and dad that you have both beauty and brains? Check out our stellar stash of study tips below—and get into your best school groove yet.
Prep for success
Go to your teacher and go over old tests. Your teacher can help you understand what you missed. If it was an essay-type test, ask your teacher to go over her comments. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like, “What could I have done here to get full marks?” If you’re misunderstanding an important concept, ask her to go over with you again.
Do any extra credit possible. We’ll let you in on a li’l secret: Your teachers really don’t want to fail you. Most will offer a few extra credit opportunities toward the end of the year to let eager students boost their final grade. Take total advantage of any opportunity you’re given.
Get help ASAP. Still not getting it solo? Grab Teach, a tutor or a whiz kid friend and ask them for help. And do yourself a favor and don’t put this off ‘til the last minute. Everyone involved, including you, will appreciate the notice and the sincere effort you’re putting in to really learning a certain concept or subject.
Know the format. True or false. Matching. Multiple choice. Fill in the blank. Short answer. Essay. Ah, the types of questions we know by heart. Be sure to ask your teacher to fill ya in on what kinds of questions will be on test. Then, study accordingly.
Make a game out of studying with a bestie. Grab your bestie, pull out the study guide for your test and have each of you make up 10 to 20 questions. Write them on index cards with the question on one side and the answer on the back. Quiz each other and use chocolate or candy to reward the girl who gets the most correct.
Your study sesh sched
Create a study schedule and stick to it. Create a schedule two weeks before your next big test. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour devoted to studying each day, or break the materials you’ll be tested on into sections and divide it accordingly.
Review your notes. Each night the week before your test, look over all your notes before going to bed. In fact, make it at least a half hour before to give your brain time to lock in any key info.
Focus on your problem areas. If you have a limited amount of prep time and a lot of things to get through, this one is especially important. Give the stuff you’re pretty clear on a quick—and we mean lightning-fast—refresher, then get to work on the harder material.
Reward yourself. Study time doesn’t mean cutting off all playtime completely. With a five-minute break every hour or so, your mind has time to reset. Plus, you’ll be more likely to finish faster with a prize at the end of the line. 1D gossip time, here we come!
Get out of your comfort zone. Usually study on your cozy bed? Not during crunchtime. Anything warm and inviting will take you to snoozeville before you finish memorizing the periodic table. Pick a chair that makes dozing off tricky.
Do some research. Read up on books about the test and what to expect. The more you know, the more prepared you’ll feel.
Personalize your routine. Everyone learns differently, so the study tips your BFF swears by may not be the right ones for you. Base your methods on what’s worked in the past. Start with the simple stuff: Alone or with friends? Background music or total quiet? In your room or at the park?
Practice, practice, practice. If you wanna ace these toughies, you’ve gotta be ready to work. Committing yourself to studying (a lot) is your best chance at test success. But…
Don’t overdo it. Forcing yourself to fight through endless hours of impossible problems can actually have the opposite effect of good practice. Stressing out and pushing yourself too far is bad for you and doesn’t work.
Have the right night. Never underestimate the importance of the night before! Don’t study (yup, we said don’t). Instead, clear your head, relax and get a good night’s sleep. The next morning, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to rock it.
Taking the test
Stay positive. Sometimes it can feel like you’re getting every question wrong, and that your only option is to give up. Don’t! Never let yourself be discouraged.
Dress smart. You’ll want a laid-back outfit to study in but you’ll also want to look good and feel confident for your test day. Itchy, tight or uncomfortable clothes can cause a distraction. For an outfit that’s totally test-taking cute, put on a pair of your comfiest jeans, a simple tank and a soft sweater.
Keep good posture. Ever fall asleep during a movie or (gasp!) class? Your bod doesn’t go from upright to sprawled out in a second. Lotsa slouching happened in the process. So, to curb that drooping, make a conscious effort to keep your back straight.
Play by the rules. This one is obvious, but sometimes it’s overlooked in the rush to memorize everything ASAP. Is your test open note? Can you bring a calculator? Can you bring a note card “cheat sheet”? Ask your teacher what sort of tools you’ll be allowed to use—or not—so you can be as prepared as possible.
Don’t beat yourself up. If you didn't do well on a test, try not to focus on what you didn’t do. That just revs up the dread factor. Instead, turn your focus to something more positive and constructive.
Tried any of these test-taking tricks before? Which ones really rocked? Have an awesome tip we didn't include? Share in the comments!
LOVE THIS POST? YOU’LL HEART THESE TOO…