How Best to Study and Prepare for Each Type of Test

January 17, 2017 Studying Tips31

Studying for a test can be difficult and time consuming, but it is necessary in order to give you the best chance to succeed. Dedicating yourself to a regular study regimen can help improve your final grade, but it’s important to remember that there is no one way to study for a test. Most students understand the basics of studying by reviewing past material, but they don’t know that there are different variations of studying and prep depending on the format of the test.

Essay Exam

Many people will say that preparing for an essay exam is the hardest kind of test to prepare for because it can be unpredictable and hard to study for. The best thing you can do is try and predict which topics will be used. Many times they come from important lectures and discussions in the classroom.

Pay close attention to your textbook by reading over the discussion questions in the end of each chapter. Boldface headings in each chapter can also be turned into potential essay questions. The course outline and study guide distributed by your teacher can be helpful too. Discuss potential essay questions with fellow students and form a study sheet with the topics most likely to be included on the test.

When you study your notes and textbook, take time to fill in relevant information for your study sheet. Memorize key events, facts, and names that will be useful for your argument. Filling in all this information will help you organize your thoughts and ideas on each essay topic and help you prepare for the test.

Multiple Choice

Many students believe that a multiple choice is the easiest test they can take, but it can be difficult and time consuming to prepare for one. Multiple choice tests hold more questions when you include test questions and the variant answers available to choose from, so it’s important to understand a broader range of material while also memorizing the significant details. That means knowing exact dates, names, vocabulary, formulas, and other information that can’t be generalized.

When studying in preparation for a multiple choice test, it’s a good idea to start as early as possible to give yourself time to build up the long-term memory needed to remember important details. Also note that it isn’t enough to simply memorize textbook definitions. The questions on the test won’t always match perfectly with the definition in the book, so if you understand the information in the appropriate context, it can be easier to recall during the test.

Online Test

If you take an online test, remember that it can take on several formats that will need to be handled differently. Talk to your teacher to find out what kind of questions will be on the test and then study accordingly. You can also ask how much time you will be given and whether or not you need to take the test in a specific location.

Take a practice test, if such a resource is available to you. If the test is timed, determine how long you can spend on each question to ensure that you can get to every question. Whether you take the test at home or in the computer lab, you will want to make sure that the computer is able to support the test website and that your username and password work days before.

Open Book Test

You might think that an open book test will be easy, but it will be up to you to use your reference materials correctly. The answers might all be in front of you, but it will be important to organize the information in a way that will make information easy to recall during test time.

Before the test, you should remember to keep current with any reading assignments in the textbook. At the very least, become familiar with the format and layout of each section so you can find answers easier during test time. You can also organize your reference material by adding sticky notes, tabs, and color coding to keep track of important sections and passages.

Open book also usually means open notes as well, so you will want to keep concise notes on the ideas and concepts of each unit. Add commentary to your notes and prepare questions ahead of time to demonstrate that you have thought this test through and have answers prepared. Make an effort to link your notes with their corresponding sections and pages in the textbook in order to save yourself time during the test. You might also want to summarize each section and write down all formulas ahead of time.

Oral Exam

The key to a successful oral exam is to prepare ahead of time. Instead of trying to study everything you have learned throughout the unit, try talking to your teacher first to find out what you can specifically focus on. While you study, keep track of possible questions you might be asked during your exam, then focus on answering them.

The most effective way to prepare is to practice answering questions with another person. Write down all the questions you think your teacher might ask during your exam and give them to a classmate or parent. Have them ask you questions and practice giving them the answers you will present during the exam. You can also use this method of practice by yourself by using a mirror.

If your presentation includes any kind of technological aid, such as a PowerPoint presentation, make sure to practice with it ahead of time. You should also ensure that the presentation works ahead of time to avoid looking unprepared.

Short Answer Test

When it comes to a short answer test, the teacher will be looking to see if you have shown an understanding of the foundation of the material. It is more about knowing general concepts and being able to converse about them, rather than memorizing every minute detail.

To prepare for this kind of test, it can be helpful to take course material and summarize the information. Try shortening each paragraph of a reading into a sentence or two. You will also want to focus on specific keywords, events, vocabulary, and concepts that show up in the material. Organize this information to make the review process easier and the knowledge you retain will be more concise before the test.