Test Preparation Strategies – with O Week finishing, why not start being prepared?

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Test Preparation Strategies

  1. Organize
    1. Identifying “big ideas,” or themes that connect chunks of information together, to build stronger memories of the material.
    2. When faced with lots of facts to learn and haven’t had much experience in class discovering or investigating the information, it can be difficult to know which fact relates to which.
    3. To build relational long-term memories, encourage person to sort the facts, dates, names, places, and new subject-related vocabulary into categories and to describe or make diagrams of how the pieces fit together.
  2. Prioritize
    1. Study plans include:
      1. determining when to begin studying in advance of a test,
      2. which material is highest priority and should be reviewed the most frequently, and
  • what information in your notes or text is more or less likely to be on the test (prediction).
  1. Creating study plans builds the executive function of prioritizing skills to make the most efficient and effective use of study time. (note: this can also apply to the actual test – answer the questions you know first and come back to the harder ones later.)
  1. Judgment
    1. This executive function includes self-checking strategies, such as:
      1. self-editing by reading aloud,
      2. checking over answers to see if all parts of a multipart question were covered,
  • planning for the most effective use of time during a test, and
  1. looking for clues in subsequent questions.
  1. You can develop judgment by learning to stop at planned intervals during a test to check in with yourself and ask the question,
    1. “Am I staying focused, or letting my mind wander?”
  2. Consider practicing a self-checking strategy with yourself during a study session by flipping over a note card that asks:
    1. “Am I focused?” every ten minutes or so when you are studying or doing homework.
    2. At first, you might think it is silly or annoying, but soon you’ll internalize the self-checking strategy and recognize that studying or test taking is more efficient because you can reclaims your focus.
  3. Analysis
    1. You can increase your awareness of your study and test-taking strengths and weaknesses.
    2. You can then use this analysis to guide your future decisions.
    3. If you keep track of the types of mistakes you most commonly makes on tests (not reading the question completely, or not checking your work), you will learn from this analysis.

Source: 2008 – Willis

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