Testing 1, 2, 3…, Part 2
Also, energize yourself with the right balance of protein, for sustained energy, and carbohydrates, for immediate energy. While studying, snack on high-protein foods like nuts, beef jerky, and cheese, and good carbs (which can also help to keep anxiety at bay) like high-fiber fruits (apples, oranges) and whole-grain crackers and rice cakes. Don't forget to stay hydrated with plenty of water.
Choose the right study tools
Let the format of the exam guide your study-tool choices. Have a lot of terms to memorize? Make flashcards and quiz yourself right up until the exam. Have a lot of facts and concepts to memorize? Write a review sheet. This is great to refer to, and the act of writing helps you assimilate information. Also, use memory devices like mnemonics. For example, the seven concepts in this article are put into a mnemonic format with the word S.U.C.C.E.S.S. to help you remember them.
Cater to your own needs and style in a creative way. Are you visual? Use colored flashcards and different-colored pens to rewrite or outline key points. If you're auditory, read and study aloud. Record the in-class review session and listen to it at home.
If outlining is hard, but you can "see" concepts and ideas, make a physical model or draw a concept map. This will help clarify ideas and show how they relate to one another. For example, in history, you might discover, when reviewing your concept map, that events A and B helped cause event C.
Don't hesitate to ask for help. This can be as simple as meeting with a teacher (discussed above) or going over ideas with a classmate. You can also use a tutor or coach to help you learn the material, stay on track, and get the job done. However, if you feel you know the material but tend to test poorly, consider tutoring or helping others. This will force you to clarify ideas and will reveal areas of weakness.
Simplify and skim
If you're short on time or there's too much material to go over, work smarter - and simpler. Focus on main ideas and read over chapter summaries. Quiz yourself by checking how much detail you remember that's not mentioned in the summary. Actively recalling information is a great way to burn it into long-term memory.
Get into the habit of taking detailed class notes, and highlight and star key concepts. Then make an outline from the notes (highlighted and starred points become outline headings). Do the same with everything you read.
Shorten study blocks
Remember to take breaks. Stretch, walk around the block, grab a snack, send an e-mail, or pick up a magazine every 30 minutes or so. Keep the breaks short, using a timer if necessary.