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How to Study for a Test

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How to Study for a Test. When & Where. Regular time Regular place Quiet Organized Few distractions: no TV, phone, games, etc. Daily…review notes for entire unit/chapter. Gaps. Look for gaps…things you don’t understand Use your book to help fill in your gap notes

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when where
When & Where
  • Regular time
  • Regular place
  • Quiet
  • Organized
  • Few distractions: no TV, phone, games, etc.
  • Daily…review notes for entire unit/chapter
  • Look for gaps…things you don’t understand
  • Use your book to help fill in your gap notes
  • Have a study buddy’s contact info so can call/text to ask questions
  • Ask your teacher the next day
how much
How much
  • Multiple nights
  • No cramming just the night before
  • Short bursts with breaks
  • 20 min maximum for each burst
  • We tend to remember what we study 1st & last
  • Night before: read through all materials at least once
  • Right before: skim through notes if given time
  • Great for large amounts of information
  • Need to be concise (to the point)
  • As study them, stack into 3 piles: ‘ones I know’, ‘ones I kind of know’, ‘ones I don’t know’
  • Continue to read through the ‘kind of know’ & ‘ones I don’t know’ & add to the ‘ones I know’ pile as you learn
  • Once have them all in the ‘ones I know’ pile, read through all of them again to double-check
  • If needed repeat the process
  • Also great to carry with you to practice, dinner, on the bus, etc.
mnemonic strategies
Mnemonic Strategies

Mnemonic Devices


Make a word from the 1st letter of each word to be memorized

Example: HOMES to remember the 5 Great Lakes of Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior

Activity: List 2 Acronyms and what they stand for

  • Any learning technique that helps you remember facts
  • Connects the information you are trying to learn with something simpler or familiar to you
  • Example: Arable. Break it down to you “are able” to grow things.



Make up a story with the list of words throughout the story

The more ridiculous or silly, the easier it is to remember

Example: Next slide

  • Make phrases/sentences in which the 1st letter of each word works as a cue to help recall the words you are trying to remember
  • Example: Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally to remember math order of operations (PEMDAS)
  • Activity: Using your vocab words, create 2 acrostics
narrative example
Narrative Example
  • Word List: Rustler, Penthouse, Mountain, Sloth, Tavern, Fuzz, Gland, Antler, Pencil, Vitamin
  • Narrative: A Rustler lived in a Penthouse on top of a Mountain. His specialty was the three toed Sloth. He would take his captive animals to a Tavern where he would remove Fuzz from their Glands. Unfortunately, all this exposure to sloth fuzz caused him to grow Antlers. So he gave up his profession and went to work in a Pencil factory. As a precaution he also took a lot of Vitamin E.
  • Activity: Using as many vocab words as you can (minimum of 5), create a short story


Mental Pictures

Make up a picture in your head or on paper about the topic that you can later picture in your head

Example: French word ‘pain’ means bread so picture a loaf of bread screaming in pain when you eat it

Activity: Using one vocab word, create an image

  • Make up rhyming words or songs related
  • Examples:
    • In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
    • 50 States Song

    • Activity: Use 2 of your vocab words to rhyme with a clue of their meaning
studying for math
Studying for Math
  • Math takes practice
  • Best way to practice is by doing problems
  • Multiple step problems:
    • If you can do when someone walks you through it, you only partially know it
    • If you can do when you look at the steps in your notes/book, you only partially know it
      • Figure out which step you get caught on
      • Practice more problems
    • If you can do ALL the steps without any assistance, then you are likely to know it
    • Try explaining how to do it to someone else; if you can teach it to someone else then it’s much more likely you know it
from the psychological science in the public interest journal
From the Psychological Science in the Public Interest Journal
  • Here are the 5 study skills that Dunlosky and team found to be the most effective:
  • Elaborative interrogation: Answering why a fact is true
  • Self-explanation: Explaining what a section of text or an example problem means to you
  • Practice testing: Testing yourself on the material you are trying to learn
  • Distributed practice: Spreading your studying out over several sessions
  • Interleaved practice: Mixing different kinds of problems together when studying