How To Study For A Test

By Kyle Dagenais

It's true that are many ways to study for a test and it's also true that some people don't even have to study to get good grades. But for those of us who do have to study I find that there is one method that rarely fails (all pun intended). This may not work for all people but it has worked for me since high school has proved to be successful on numerous occasions.

The most important factor here is transferring the information from the book or paper to the brain. It may seem simple but it's not as easy as it seems, especially if the subject matter is not all that interesting. So here are some steps that I find work to be ready for that test or exam.


1 WRITE IT DOWN. I cannot stress the importance of writing down information enough. Sure, you can read something over and over but when you write it down you are doing more than just that. You are first reading the sentence you are about to write, then writing the sentence you just read, and then most likely reading over the sentence you just wrote. That's three times that you have entered that information into your brain. I have found that often times simply reading from a book without the process of writing it down causes me to just end up staring at the page without actually reading or my mind begins to wander if I am just simply reading. Writing it down is the key.

2 FIND A PLACE TO STUDY. It is very important to find a place where you know you can concentrate and won't be bothered. Concentration is an important factor when studying because if the concentration level is low then the information that stays in the brain will be low as well. I suggest making sure that your study area is absent of people to distract you. School has all kind of ways to be distracting with all the people that pose possible distractions upon you.

3 POSTURE IS IMPORTANT. I have found that posture is sometimes the key when studying. Basically, as soon as you lay down, you may find yourself unable to resist the temptation to sleep. I suggest sitting up at all times while studying unless you know for a fact that you are not tired. If there is any bit of tiredness in you though, laying down is not a good idea. I have fallen asleep numerous times just simply trying to read a book for school so try to keep an upright posture when studying.

4 DON'T FORCE IT. A lot of the time it seems like people force themselves to study. I think everyone has at some point but the goal is to know when to stop or take a break. In the process of studying I often find myself no longer retaining the information but rather just staring blankly at it or writing down sentences purely by copying and not by understanding what I just wrote. This is the point where I and others should take a break. Whether it is just for a few minutes or a half-an-hour, breaks are necessary. Forcing yourself to study when you just can't concentrate is as just a waste as not studying at all. There has to be a comfortable medium where you may not want to study because who really does but a time when you know you can and will.

5 DON'T CRAM. We've all done it. We've all put off studying until the last minute and then became frustrated because we can't remember any of the information and studying just isn't working. You have to allow yourself a few days or at least a few different occasions where you study the information. The more it gets drilled into your head the less likely you will be to forget the information.

6 BACKGROUND MUSIC???? This step is purely by preference but I thought I would include it because it helps me. I find that when I have music on the time goes by much quicker because you are not simply sitting in pure silence, reading and writing study notes. You may wonder how I can say make sure you don't become distracted but now say that music is good. Well, the thing is, you can't watch music on a CD player like you would a TV so your eyes won't keep coming off the paper and you can't have a conversation with music like you would with people around you. It's simply something to keep your senses more alert and to keep you from getting so completely bored that you discard the whole studying thing totally. Some people believe that music is distracting when studying and for some people it may be but I have found it to almost help me study more. I think this step depends totally on the person's individual preference. It may not work for everybody but it's certainly worth a try.

7 READ IT OVER. Now that you've made your study notes and in the process began storing the information in you head, begin reading over you new study notes that contain only the important information. After writing the information out once or even several times, depending on strategy and preference, you should find that reading the information is much easier because you've already seen it pass your eyes several times in the process of reading it and writing down what you read.

This strategy is not perfect because everyone has there own preferences but it works for me and if you are having problems studying, you have nothing to lose trying it. It works for me and hopefully it will work for you too.