Preparing For a Test in One Month

You can get prepare for a test in one month. You shouldn't, but you can.

How to prepare for a test in one month
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Really? You couldn't put preparing for a test on your calendar a little while ago? If you're preparing for a test that's one month away, I'm assuming it's a big one. Like the SAT or GRE or GMAT or something. Listen. You don't have too much time, but thank goodness you're preparing for a test one month in advance and didn't wait until you only had a few weeks or even days. If you're preparing for a test of this kind of magnitude, read on for a study schedule to help you get a good score on your test.

Week 1

  1. Make sure you've registered for your exam! Really. Some people don't realize they have to do this step. 
  2. Buy a test prep book, and make sure it's a good one. Go for the big names: Kaplan, Princeton Review, Barron's, McGraw-Hill. Better yet? Buy one from the maker of the test. 
  3. Review the test basics: what's on the test, length, price, test dates, registration facts, testing strategies, etc.
  4. Get a baseline score. Take one of the full-length practice tests inside the book to see what score you'd get if you took the test today.
  5. Map out your time with a time management chart to see where test prep can fit in. Rearrange your schedule if necessary to accommodate test prep.
  6. Review online courses, tutoring programs, and in-person classes if you think that studying on your own will not be ideal! Choose and purchase it, today. Like right now.

Week 2

  1. Begin coursework with your weakest subject (#1) as demonstrated by the test you took last week.
  1. Learn the components of #1 fully: the types of questions asked, amount of time needed, skills required, methods of solving types of questions, knowledge tested. Acquire the knowledge necessary for this section by searching on the Internet, going through old textbooks, reading articles and more.
  2. Answer #1 practice questions, reviewing answers after each one. Determine where you're making mistakes and correct your methods. 
  1. Take a practice test on #1 to determine level of improvement from baseline score. You can find practice tests in the book or online many places, as well. 
  2. Fine tune #1 by going over questions missed to determine what level of knowledge you're missing. Reread information until you know it!

Week 3

  1. Move on to next weakest subject (#2). Learn the components of #2 fully: types of questions asked, amount of time needed, skills required, methods of solving types of questions, etc.
  2. Answer #2 practice questions, reviewing answers after each one. Determine where you're making mistakes and correct your methods.
  3. Take a practice test on #2 to determine level of improvement from baseline
  4. Move on to strongest subject/s (#3). Learn the components of #3 fully (and 4 and 5 if you have more than three sections on the test) (types of questions asked, amount of time needed, skills required, methods of solving types of questions, etc.)
  5. Answer practice questions on #3 (4 and 5). These are your strongest subjects, so you'll need less time to focus on them.
  6. Take a practice test on #3 (4 and 5) to determine level of improvement from baseline

Week 4

  1. Take a full-length practice test, simulating the testing environment as much as possible with time constraints, desk, limited breaks, etc.
  1. Grade your practice test and cross-check every wrong answer with the explanation for your wrong answer. Determine what you've missed and what you need to do to improve.
  2. Take one more full-length practice test. After testing, figure out why you're missing what you’re missing and correct your mistakes before test day!
  3. Eat some brain food – studies prove that if you take care of your body, you’ll test smarter!
  4. Get plenty of sleep this week.
  5. Plan a fun evening the night before the exam to reduce your stress, but not too fun. You want to get plenty of sleep!
  6. Pack your testing supplies the night before: an approved calculator if you're allowed to have one, sharpened #2 pencils with a soft eraser, registration ticket, photo ID, watch, snacks or drinks for breaks.
  7. Relax. You did it! You studied successfully for your test, and you're as ready as you're going to be!

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