6 Practical Tips for Preparing for Any Exam

Considering how much exam scores can impact your grades and your educational future, proper preparation is essential. Although you need to base your preparation in part on the subject and the type of exam you’re taking, there are plenty of methods that will improve your performance on any exam. Here are six practical exam prep tips that can bring immediate results.


1. Set Up a Study Schedule


The best way to learn and retain information is to study consistently. It’s hard to fully comprehend materials if you study it for a couple hours, and then forget about it the rest of the week.


Students who do well on exams are usually the ones who make time to study at least a bit every day. Break out a day planner and figure out when you’ll have some free time. Even a 20 to 30-minute session helps if you’re consistent, and this way, you won’t need to do cram sessions.


2. Take Frequent Breaks When Studying


Any time you’re studying for more than half an hour, make sure you’re taking breaks, as well. The brain isn’t a computer, and you can only study for so long before your performance starts to suffer.


A break is the perfect way to recharge. Your break schedule is up to you, as everyone is a bit different in this regard. You may prefer a five-minute break for every 20 minutes of studying, or a 10-minute break for every hour of studying. If you’re not feeling sluggish, then your break schedule is working.


3. Figure Out Your Preferred Learning Style


There is no right way to study for everyone, because every student has their own preferred learning style. Some learn best by reading, others are best at processing information they hear and some like visual learning tools, to name a few learning style examples.


Carefully consider what methods seem to bring you the best results, and then tailor your study sessions towards that. If you prefer reading, then you should spend more time studying written materials than studying in a group. If you’re a visual learner, find videos explaining the concepts you’re studying.


4. Get on a Consistent Sleep Schedule


Studies show that when you sleep better, you score better on exams. Part of sleeping well includes getting enough sleep, and the magic number here is at least seven hours per night. Any less can have a negative impact on your test taking.


The consistency of your sleep is also key here. If you go to bed at random hours and get different amounts of sleep every night, that can hurt your exam scores. Do your best to stick to a consistent sleep schedule and get seven hours of sleep or more, especially the night before an exam.


5. Eat Right, Especially on Exam Day


The foods you eat don’t just affect how your body looks. They also affect how well your brain functions. Nutritious foods will allow you to focus more, and they’ll keep your energy levels stable.


While you should be eating healthy every day, it’s most important on exam day, since that’s when you need to be at your best. A meal with plenty of nutrients will be much better for your test taking than junk food packed with sugar.


6. Trust Yourself and Don’t Panic


Exams can be stressful, and that stress can affect how well you do. That’s why it’s important to get into the right state of mind before you take an exam.


Focus on positive self-talk and visualization. When you tell yourself that you’re ready and you see yourself doing well, it will improve your confidence. Any time you start to get worried or anxious, transition to thinking about something positive, instead.


Acing an exam is an amazing feeling. You feel a sense of accomplishment, and of course, it helps your grade. With the tips above, you’ll find that you’re not as nervous when taking exams, and that you start getting better results.

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