Solid, efficient preparation for an upcoming test is one of the best ways to alleviate or even eliminate test anxiety on the day of the test. Knowing you have done the best you can to master the required material can give you the confidence to overcome test anxiety, perhaps forever.
The approach you take to your studying, as well as the materials you use, can make a big difference in the efficiency of your study time. Following these hints and tips can get you started on the road to an anxiety-free test day.
Formulating a Study Plan
When it comes to studying, organization is not to be underrated. As with any big project, studying for a major test can be accomplished more efficiently and with greater success if it is broken down into increments.
Typically, you will have a few months of classroom work, during which you can break down your study time. Plan a study session every day, or at least every weekday, so that you do not find yourself panicking as the test draws nearer because you have not looked at the material enough. A good way to organize each study session is to:
- Review materials covered that day.
- Review materials from previous days.
- Run through practice questions on new and old material on your own or with a partner.
Following this pattern will help you learn new material, while helping to ensure that you do not forget the material that was previously studied in class. It also provides practice with questions that might be similar to those you will find on your final test, making it less likely that you will freeze up with test anxiety on test day.
Additional Study Materials
Some students try to increase their chances of doing well on a test by using study materials that promise to teach them how to beat the test or that supposedly provide secrets to major certification tests or other formal exams. All too often, these materials prove to be a waste of time and money. Students would probably be better prepared by focusing on the information that had been presented in class.
Instead of using books that promise to provide secrets to the test, you should look for books that offer test questions based on past versions of the test. If you know people who have taken the test before, ask them what study materials were most helpful. In addition, you can ask your teacher to recommend materials that he or she believes are valid and helpful resources.
By spending adequate time studying and making use of effective study guides, you can ensure adequate preparation and eliminate test anxiety.