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How To STUDY for Tests

Picture of three students studying


 Do you feel as exhausted as I am, because if you do-your on the right track. It’s already been 5 weeks and everything is starting to pile up. I’m in my first year of Journalism and I already have a test I need to study for. For all of you in my boat, have no fear, studying for a test is simple. When I say ‘simple’ I mean time-consuming, dedication and cups of tea. It only becomes simple when you have it down, and you know the steps of this intricate choreography.

 For every test, there is content that fuels the test and I warrant your teacher has drilled that content into your heads. Mine did today, as if wanting to make sure we knew what he was talking about. As I looked around, not many of my classmates were paying attention-that’s the first step: PAY ATTENTION. When you go to class, and your teacher seems to be droning on, he isn’t doing that to make your eardrums explode-its his job. He is trying to get you/us to understand the concepts and examples he’s throwing at you/us. And if you don’t know, I think it would be a good idea to ask questions, and yes I’m one of ‘those’. I’m pretty sure all my teachers know my name just because of how many questions I ask. If you think its not ‘cool’ or its ‘lame’ to ask questions, were paying for our seats in this program, if we don’t know or understand the material how else can we find out. I know we have books, but I personally would rather get a direct answer as opposed to scouring through a textbook for one. Also, don’t feel insecure in class if you have a question, likely or not someone else has that same question, and your doing them a solid by actually voicing it.

 Likely before a test, or the week beforehand your teacher will ‘review’ the content. The second step in this dance is-TAKE NOTES, and don’t just copy down his/her notes from the power points, actually take notes that make sense to you. Highlight key terms, and underline things that don’t make sense. If you don’t want to take notes, and just listen-I really hope your good at retaining information on your shift at Chapters after class. I don’t mean to mock, but taking notes for a test is key- listening works too, but wouldn’t you feel better having a back-up resource to look at. In this period of time-the review, its always good to talk to your teacher ( for all those to cool to ask questions). Your teacher, or at least mine, usually lingers after class for this very purpose, he knows that when he asks you if you have questions and you reply with dead silence, you do. Go to him/her after class and clarify things with him/her, or point out things you don’t understand.

Remember this is your academic career, its what you make of it. After class, instead of going to Starbucks to meet up with friends, I suggest simply going and grabbing a Tazo Chai and commence the third step-STUDY. Studying is where the time-consumption comes in, and my friends, that time is based on how much you have to give. Open that laptop, or your notebook and consume yourself in those concepts and terms. I always find it easier to retain information, when I can relate key terms to something relative, make up examples that you can understand. Go over them again and again until you know you have this down. At the time of the test you should feel ready, you shouldn’t feel unsure-you’ve got this. I wish you all the best of luck! I have to go study now too.