How to Study for a Test

Successfully Study for a Test

Getty Images


So you need to study for a test. And perhaps, just perhaps, the test in question is not from your favorite teacher - the one who delightfully gives you all the test answers the day before. Nope. It's a real, actual test and you'll need to prepare for it if you want to score high enough to hold your head up high the next day (and remain ungrounded, thank you very much.)

Luckily, you're ahead of the game.

Here's the scoop on how to study for a test so you're ready when test day rolls around!

Ask Your Teacher For Test Goodies

Sure, no one likes to be the person who raises his or hand and asks a bunch of annoying questions about the upcoming test, but you need the following information before you can even proceed to study for a test. 

  1. A test review sheet: Not every teacher will provide you with one, but it can't hurt to ask, especially if he or she does give you one. A review sheet will let you know exactly what you need to know so half your work is already done.
  2. An in-class review game: Sometimes, a teacher will give an in-class review or quiz game the day before an exam, but sometimes he or she will not. If you specifically ask for one, however, you're more likely to get one and your grade can benefit exponentially if you are so lucky. Why? If it's mentioned during the quiz review in class, you'd better believe it will be on the test. 
  1. The type of test you're getting: Ask your teacher what type of test he or she will be administering. A multiple choice exam? An essay test? A mix of both? Will he or she tell you which questions will be essays? There are very different ways to study for different types of tests, so it helps to know what you're dealing with beforehand. 

    Schedule Your Study Time

    First, figure out how much time you have before your test. There are different things you can accomplish in six days before the test vs. two days before the test, for example. So, schedule your study sessions according to the number of days prior to your exam and get moving. A guide to studying for a test based on the number of days you have leading up to the exam is here:

    Second, look at your schedule for the days leading up to the test. If you're incredibly busy and you don't think you have any time, print out a "Where Do I Spend My Time" chart, and physically write down the hours you're scheduled. You'll be surprised how much free time you really do have to study for a test! 

    Find a Study Partner ASAP

    And this can definitely be your mom. You need to find an amazing study partner who's willing to come over to your house or meet up with you in a great study spot, and quiz you the day before your test. This person does not have to actually study with you, although that's certainly a possibility if he or she isn't a distraction. But you need a partner to quiz you on what you know before the test. That's a must!

    Bring Home Your Notes/Quizzes/Handouts

    Every day after school, bring your homework, quizzes, and handouts home that relate to the unit or chapter on which you're being tested.

    You'll be reviewing them according to the number of days you have prior to the test. 

    Get Rid of Negativity

    Studying isn't always the most exciting thing on the planet, although it certainly beats watching paint peel. But if you start off studying with a bunch of negative thoughts crowding your head, you're at a huge disadvantage. Before you plunge in, get rid of these three negative ideas when studying.