When you hear those dreaded words “SO…Test on Friday people”, you might start to panic. Which is perfectly normal, especially if this test is with a new professor or a new subject. I think it’s actually good to be a bit nervous, because that will motivate you to study even harder and do the best you can. However, don’t let the nerves get the best of you. You should use your time before the test to learn the material and harvent your nervous energy into positive energy.
In true test prep mode you can achieve great things but you have to be realistic and play to your strengths. If you say “well there are five days until my test, so I will spend forty five minutes each day studying…” that’s probably not going to happen. The first day will come and you will roll over those forty-five minutes to the next day, and then the next day, until all your studying is left to the night before. I propose a two-day strategy. On the first day I prepare my study materials. I will download all of the powerpoints, notes, or readings that concern my test. Then I read all of them. I admit to skimming here, but if you start re-reading the material a few days before and don’t stop until you take the actual test, chances are some of the information will stick in your brain. So highlight, take notes, or make flashcards. Just do whatever helps you best. Next on day two the quizzing stage begins. Carry those notes with you all day and keep reading them and quizzing yourself on what you remember. In fact most textbooks come with an online textbook, many of which come with free quizzes online. By taking the book quizzes you can be sure that you are remembering the main points of the chapters. Also sometime professors take test questions straight from the online quizzes, which is like a little bonus for studying.
I hope that my ideas on studying help you, because this method has always helped me.