Exams are often stressful, and after taking the PSATS, I wanted to explain a few ways you can get ready for your next test, whether it's a standardized test or a simple quiz. Besides studying, we will go over 5 extra tips that will help you be less stressed. The more stressed an exam makes you, the more your performance will decline. But that brings us to our first subject of stress.
1. Turn Stress into Your Advantage
One commonly misunderstood topic is stress and the idea of viewing it as a harmful thing. In a TED talk titled "How to Make Stress Your Friend", psychologist Kelly McGonigal goes over how viewing stress as dangerous can actually create a more adverse effect on those who have stress. She went on the say that if you view stress positively, then stress will actually help you and become one of your strengths. On the other hand, viewing it negatively can cause health problems and lead to a worse quality of life. This is why it is at the top of the list, because stress is common before any exam, and students need to know how to control it.
2. Make a Schedule of Your Study Sessions
Simply telling yourself to study might not work that well. However, creating a schedule and setting alarms will hold you accountable for the times you set aside for study. Make sure you set the time that you actually want to spend studying, and place breaks between study sessions to improve your productivity. Using a schedule and sticking to it will ensure you can have a balance in your social and academic life. Study sessions will go by quicker and be more effective because of this, hence giving you more time to hang out with your friends or do other things.
3. Eliminate Distractions
Turn off your phone and close out all apps. Make sure you clear your mind before beginning to study. If you are on a computer you can try installing a focus app that will disable apps for a certain period of time in order to help you study for your test. Not only is this extremely effective in improving study patterns, but it will also train you to resist the urge to distract yourself during studying. As we said again and again, accountability is detrimental in order to create success when taking exams.
4. Create a Study Plan
Before you jump into studying, it's important to understand what you actually need to study. Spend some time organizing your materials and thinking about exactly what you need to study. One easy way to achieve this is to try out different topics in the course and see areas you may struggle. Sometimes using apps such as Quizlet and Kahoot can assist you in learning material that requires memorization. However, for practical tests like mathematics or driving exams, the best study is practice. Try and see what happens, if you make a mistake learn from it. By trying and failing, that will be the best way you can study.
5. Get Good Sleep
This is by far one of the most important things that we have on this list. Research has proven that sleep is directly related to improved memory retention. This is due to the fact that during sleep, key memory is transferred to long-term storage, improving memory retention. At the same time, sleep will also build a healthier and happier person, which in turn will enable you to be more ready for your upcoming test. A study with students from the UAE observed that improved happiness is positively correlated with academic success.
Well, that's all, stress management, a proper schedule, a study plan, and good sleep are all key components to making your chances of doing well in your next exam even better. But remember the biggest thing, don't try to get a good grade for your parents, do it for yourself. While a test is important, your health and safety are more important. Additionally, if you're going to study, you have to commit and try your very best to succeed. Even then, if you don't end up doing well, see the letter below.
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