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How to Study for a Test Effectively

Deepa Kartha
The word 'test' or 'exam' brings lot of stress to a student. However, tests are an inevitable part of a student's life, which help to gauge how much a person has learnt in class. Knowing how to study for a test effectively is the key to ace any examination.

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"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going". - Beverly Sills

Study Everyday

Tests are an inevitable result of student life. So, preparations should begin on the first day of the academic year itself. Study a little every day. Revising what was taught in class on the same day will ensure that you are up to date with your syllabus, making preparation for tests easy.

Do Not Leave Studying for Last Minute

Cramming on the day before your test would not help you achieve anything. You would definitely not be able to get good marks, and the knowledge would be half-baked.

Have a Plan

Having a timetable for studying is extremely important. You are the best judge about the study pattern that would suit you. It could be studying for two hours and taking a 15 minutes break or studying continuously for 4 hours and taking a 1 hour break. Find what suits you and stick to it.

Make Your Own Study Aids

Rote learning is short-term and can desert you during stressful times, like while giving a test. Hence, rely on self-made study aids, which make learning fun and effective. Break down difficult concepts into outlines, charts, mind maps, flash cards, etc. to make learning easier.

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Take Breaks

Do not forget to take a break to refresh. Go for a walk, exercise or indulge in a hobby for some time to recharge yourself.

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Group Studies

Group studies with a small group of friends can help you to solve each other's doubts. Also, there is no better way of learning something than discussing or talking about it.

Best Time for Difficult Concepts

Study difficult concepts at night, just before you go to bed and early in the morning, as soon as you wake up.
Studies have shown that learning something before going to bed gives the brain lot of time to assimilate the information, making it a part of your long-term memory. Similarly, your mind is the most alert in the morning when you wake up, making it easier to retain the information.

Practice Mock Tests

Testing yourself by solving old test papers is a great way of knowing how prepared you are for the actual exam. Stick to the time limit and ask a friend to score you. Giving mock tests also helps in eliminating test related stress.

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Eliminating Distractions

In a world where you are constantly updating and checking your social media accounts, focusing on your studies can be difficult. Switch off your mobile and stay away from other distractions while you study.

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If you have the habit of checking your phone from time to time, place it in a different room during your study time. Set a specific time to check your phones and indulge in social media.

Sleep Well

Doing an all-nighter a day before the test would be your idea of studying. However, there is no pointing in studying all night if you are going to doze off during the test. It is important to have a good night's rest to be alert and focused during the test.

Eat Healthy

Studying for a test can make you feel hungry and want to binge on your favorite food. However, eating healthy food is as important as studying hard. Make sure you eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. Skip the high calorie foods that can make you feel lethargic and sluggish.


It is important to review or revise a day before the test. If you are revising just before the test, concentrate on simple concepts. Checking out complex concepts at the last minute can cause panic.


Before you enter the classroom to take the test, do not forget to take a few deep breaths. Take a long deep breath in and breathe out through your mouth. Do it a few times and you would feel your stress levels going down, and you will be set to attempt the test to the best of your abilities.

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"Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you." - Anynoymous