Nobody likes to take an examination or test. This is why so many of us score below our potential – we build up our fear of test-taking in our brains, creating a huge, frightening “monster.” As a result, we panic when we take tests, causing our brains to go blank and reducing our scores.
But it does not have to be like this! With a few simple tricks, you can boost your memory and reset your perspective, resulting in greater confidence and improvement to your scores, and a less stressful test experience.
Don’t Go It Alone
Unless you are a die-hard introvert who finds other people disruptive to your studying, enlist a few friends in the same course and create a study group. These can be formal or informal, held in a common area or somebody’s dorm room. Help each other out by supporting each other in understanding topics where one is strong in, and by creating and giving mini-tests. This will shift your mind into test-taking mode without the pressure of an actual grade looming over your head. Keep things fun by rewarding yourselves with a night out when you all ace the test together!
Putting Things Into Perspective
Part of the reason why tests seem so scary is that they are a one-shot deal. There is no extra time to make adjustments, no teacher feedback and no double-checking with a partner to ensure you did not make a mistake. You show up, fill in answers, leave and wait for the results.
While you cannot change how a test is conducted, you can dramatically change how you think about it, and that change can lead to significantly better results.
One of the best ways to do this is to view a test the same way you view any other school project. Start well ahead of time – no all-night study sessions! As soon as you know a test will be taking place, figure out what will (or probably will) be covered, break that information down into sections, and push yourself to study at a slow, relaxed pace. By viewing a test as a project, you will find your entire mindset shifted towards being more relaxed. This is the most productive position to be in, where you will find retaining and absorbing information much easier.
While you’re studying – alone or in a group – it can be tempting to put on music in the background. This is a good idea – so long as it does not distract you from your studies. Classical music may seem boring to some, but studies have shown that it can help one to learn and, very importantly, retain what one learns.
While improving your memory can seem like an impossible task, multiple studies have shown that it can be done. Take a step forward and give our easy tips above a go for your next test!
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