Tests frighten even the most astute learners. In fact, according to the British Psychological Society, test anxiety can have serious impact on our lives.

Having test anxiety means some students find themselves drawing a blank when trying to answer questions. That leaves even the most intelligent brain in the test room vulnerable to failure.

Struggling with tests can be incredibly disheartening, especially to students who take their studies seriously. Thankfully, I’ve prepared several tips to help you beat that next big exam.

1. Study From Home

I’ve already written about the advantages of studying from home, but there are even more upsides that I haven’t mentioned.

The setting is everything when it comes to memory. By studying from home you can sit in a particular spot, light a scented candle, and listen to a specific soundtrack while you study.

When test time comes, replicate as many sensory inputs as you can from when you were studying and your brain will do the rest.

2. Do an 80/20 Analysis

Also known as Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule is popular amongst highly productive people because it helps them identify the 20% input that yields an 80% return. To put it more simply, it’s the smallest thing you can do that will have the biggest impact.

You can apply this in preparation for future tests by asking your professor what’s testable. Also, I find that if all I can study is the vocabulary from a particular section I’ll have a greater understanding of the material as a whole.

3. Avoid All-Nighters

Procrastination can be difficult to avoid. However, doing so spells doom for your exam preparation. Putting things off until the last minute and cramming information into your head the night before simply doesn’t lead to retention.

Not only does it not lead to retention but all-nighters leave you groggy, and totally unprepared.

4. Start With a Good Morning

If you roll out of bed late and rush through your morning, you’ll go into your test feeling terrible. And you’ll probably won’t be able to give your exam your full attention.

Make the effort to wake up a little early. You’ll give yourself plenty to time to eat breakfast, clean yourself and go through your notes. I also recommend you make your bed as this will help you start the day having accomplished something. This will help set the mood for the rest of the day.

5. Review. Review. Review.

Reviewing your notes must be developed into a habit. Doing so will allow you to become familiar with your notes and course materials. And it also helps you get a better understanding of what you’re learning for your exam.

You can review your notes at any time. While you’re eating breakfast, commuting, or waiting for the exam to begin — these are golden opportunities for you to read your notes.

6. Re-write Your Notes By Hand

Making an effort to type up your notes can help them look organised and presentable. Not to forget, it makes your notes easier to read, especially if you’re handwriting is anything like mine.

However, typing is not the best way to retain information. Instead, you should be writing them by hand. This will help you focus on and absorb the content that you’re studying.

7. Make a Cheat Sheet (But Don’t Use It)

First, I should point out that I’m not encouraging you to cheat. If you cheat, you’re likely to get caught and receive no grade which is worse than a bad grade.

However, writing a cheat sheet will help you identify the things you’re struggling with, and really focus on them. Before your test, throw it away before entering the testing area.

8. Don’t Worry About The Outcome (Focus on Studying)

We do worry about the outcome of tests. We wonder whether if we’ve passed or failed. Sometimes, we forget about the process of studying since we’re so consumed by the outcome.

If you’re able to put your attention on learning the material, and not worry about the outcome, then you may notice that your mind begins to relax. And your focus will be on learning the material.

By having a relaxed mind, we’re able to absorb the information much easier. And this will help us a great deal when it comes to studying for tests.

Study On

Did you find these hacks useful? Do you already implement some of them into your test taking ritual? Did we miss anything?

Let us know in the comment section bellow and be sure to check out The Learning Station for more tips and strategies to get the most out of your education.