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Studying and Test-Taking Skills/Tips

Study Skills Resources:

FREE Study Skills Class from BYU

Learning Assessments: https://www.how-to-study.com/assessments/

Study Tips: https://www.how-to-study.com/study-tips/

Comprehensive Studying Topics-Articles: https://www.how-to-study.com/study-skills-articles.asp

Study Guides and Strategies: http://www.studygs.net/

More Tips, from Virginia Tech: https://ucc.vt.edu/academic_support/study_skills_information.html


Test Prep and Subject Support: 

Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org


Strategies for Academic Success, Test Taking, & Overcoming Test Anxiety



  •          Study in a quiet space, without any distractions like a cell phone, where you can focus – at home, at school, at a library, at a coffee shop.
  •          Prioritize your time efficiently so you are able to get all homework and studying done.
  •          Turn in homework assignments on time. If a teacher does not accept late work, incomplete work on time is better than nothing.
  •          Attend class every day, on time.
  •          Attend tutoring with your teacher (by appointment) or with tutors in the library after school.
  •          Make sure you know what you missed after an absence and make up the work. Having a classmate’s contact information is ideal.
  •          Make up any quizzes or tests that you missed or that you are able to retake ASAP.


Tips for Overcoming Test Anxiety

          -          Take time to prepare for a test...don’t try to cram everything into your head at the last minute.
·         Read, then repeat. Go over material again and again.
·         Close your eyes and visualize material such as dates and facts. Then during the test, you can close your eyes and visualize the same information.
·         Build up your confidence. Do something you are really good at prior to the exam...it builds up your confidence before an exam.
·         Ask your teacher for advice or to go over any concerns you have about an upcoming test.
·         Relaxation (deep breathing, muscle tensing/relaxing), visualization (guided imagery...a peaceful, natural, relaxing scene), and positive self-talk (“I can to do this”, “I will do my best”, etc.) can be used to replace any negative feelings associated with taking tests.
·         Aerobic exercise can help reduce your stress and extra energy, thus reducing the tension in your body.


Preparing and Taking Tests


  •          Study! Review the material thoroughly. Allow plenty of time. Find a comfortable location.
  •          Analyze how you did on a similar test in the past, review your previous tests and sample tests provided by your teacher.
  •          Get a good night’s sleep.
  •          Eat a healthy, well-balanced breakfast. Take a small, nourishing snack with you as well.
  •          Be on-time for school/class.
  •          Stress can be contagious so try to avoid talking to others who are worried.
  •          Listen carefully to test directions. Ask questions if you are unsure what to do.
  •          Stay calm, be comfortable but do not slouch.
  •          Relax and be confident, remind yourself that you are doing your best. Take deep breaths.
  •          Do your best, have a positive attitude, and expect good results.
  •          Strategize--start with easier questions, then move on to more difficult ones. Make sure to complete those with most point values.
  •          Review—Look over all answers in case you misread instructions or made a careless error. Resist the urge to turn the test in right away and give yourself time to go back over responses.
  •          On objective tests-eliminate obvious wrong answers.
  •          On essays, create a broad outline with key points in sequence. 


  •          Read the directions carefully.
  •          Budget time appropriately. Start with the easiest questions first. Skip those that you are not sure about and come back to them later.
  •          Check work carefully.
  •          Read the entire item and all answers.
  •          On essay exams, organize your thoughts in a brief outline or graphic organizer, start with a short summary or topic sentence, and then make your points.
  •          On multiple-choice exams, eliminate clearly wrong answers and make an educated guess.
  •          Read questions to passage first and then read passage.
  •          Look for key words (such as who, what, where, why, and how) that tell you what to look for when you read the passage.
  •          When you come to a word you do not know, look for context clues.
  •          For fill-in sentences, always read the entire sentence before you choose an answer. Once answer is chosen, reread the sentence.


  •          When answering questions about maps, charts, graphs, or reference sources, always look back at the diagram to answer the questions. Don’t rely on memory.
  •          Look for key words such as less than, greatest, between, nearest, least, closest, and so on.
  •          Reduce fractions.
  •          Remember an equation must stay balanced.
  •          Check subtraction by adding; check division by multiplying; check multiplication by dividing.
  •          Draw graphs, pictures, or visual aids to help you visualize the problem.