Worried about that big test coming up soon? Got finals, the SAT or even the GMAT causing your stress levels to rise and your heart to beat faster and faster every day? Here are some tips to ensure you prepare the best way possible so that you can take your test with your head high, confident of your cognitive abilities.
Don’t cram all of your studying in the day before, or even two days before. Studies show that it is best to study little by little, every night for at least a few days. This will help you remember things more easily and ensures that you give yourself ample time to prepare for every question a test may throw at you. Cramming it all in the night before will only make it more difficult to retain all of the information and may also cause you to lose sleep and raise stress levels as you rush to study everything hours before the start of your exam.
Get a good night’s sleep the day before your test. Studies prove that much of the memory retention you have occurs during sleep, so in order for you to benefit most from your studying you have to sleep so that the information can soak into your mind. A good nights rest will always leave you feeling refreshed, energized and sharp in the morning: perfect test taking mode. You should also be sure to eat a big breakfast, as this will help keep you focused on the task at hand instead of allowing your mind to wander while your test sits idly in front of you, the clock ticking away…
During the test, be sure to pace yourself accordingly. Chances are you have a limited amount of time to test, so you should be sure to skip over the questions that initially give you trouble so you are sure to make it to all of the problems you know with confidence.
Remember to relax in the days leading up to the test as well. The second you start to freak out over the test is the second you start to lose focus and concentration, and eventually it may cause you to lose points. If you stay optimistic about things and remain focused and poised, you stand a much better chance of studying efficiently and effectively. Relaxing before a test will also set your mind at ease—you need to be sure that you remain grounded when the time comes so that you can delve into the depths of your memory and pull out the answer that you know is lurking in there somewhere.