It’s an undeniable reality of college life: after you’ve planned your work, scheduled your study times, motivated yourself to work, and used all the best strategies for learning, you still need to take exams. While it is absolutely true that doing all of those things is putting you into position for success, there are still other strategies to apply and skills to develop in order to test well. In this section, you can explore the latest and best strategies and tips for preparation and test taking. 


Test Prep, Test Taking, and Test Anxiety

Studying in the Week Before Your Exam

You’ve planned your study sessions carefully, followed the Study Cycle strategy of studying a little bit day by day, and now are in the days before your exam. You’ve learned a lot and don’t need to cram — but there is still work to do to bring it all together and make sure you are as ready as you can be. There’s a lot to consider in the days before an exam, and a lot of useful strategies to try to make sure you’re going to be able to remember what you’ve learned and know how to think with it when you’re test taking. 

Explore these links for advice on how to study and prepare in the home stretch – the days leading up to the exam.

Prepared in Body and Mind

Most test-prep strategies focus on techniques for better memorizing, recalling, and thinking with the information you are learning. It’s important to remember, though, that all that preparation won’t pay off unless your brain is ready to perform at exam time. Taking care of your brain in the days leading up to the exam will help you recall more, think more clearly, and feel less stress while test-taking. Paying attention to this is a great way to add points to your exam score without having to add more hours studying. 

Explore these links for advice on making sure you are physically and mentally ready for the job ahead of you.


Taking the Test

You’ve studied well. You’ve had a good night’s sleep. You reviewed this morning, and you feel like you are ready. Now, all that remains is actually taking the test. As well-prepared as you may feel, the actual activity of taking a test can require the application of a whole different set of skills and strategies. Knowing how to prepare for and tackle different types of exams can make a big difference in your performance. It helps to think about what the test will be like, and practice how you should approach it. 

Explore these links for tips on how to handle different types of exams and exam questions.

Test Anxiety

It is often said that the best treatment for test anxiety is to study well and arrive prepared. Clearly, feeling ready is a huge help. Yet even the best prepared students can have their exam performance impacted by the anxiety that test-taking can generate. Elevated anxiety can compromise your brain’s ability to focus, think clearly, remember well, and make effective choices. If you experience anxiety before or during your exams, there are many strategies you can try. 

Explore these links for advice on minimizing your test anxiety and how it may affect your performance.