Ways to Study for Tests Including Essay Tests


Often students reach college without learning studying tips to help them prepare for tests. Knowing the best ways to study and excel in taking tests will reduce the amount of stress experienced during essay tests.

The first step in studying is to read the assign material including textbooks and any handouts. Make notes on note card of what you read so you can prefer to these later. Do not wait until the night before the test to read all the materials and try to cram the information into your head the night before the test. This is a great way to be stressed out and unable to concentrate during the test.

Take your writing notes given in class and write these on note cards. The best time to do this is right after class time or in the evenings when you do not have classes.

Start a study group and get together to discuss notes and key issues discussed in class. Study groups are excellent way to study for tests and a great way to get to know other students better. Discuss any Chapter Tests or questions given in the text after the material is read. What questions do you think might be asked on the test? A great way to do this is to write test questions on one side of a note card and the answers on the back. Take turns asking questions and answering these questions.

What are some ways to study for essay tests? Ask the instructor for examples of essay questions that might be asked. Some instructors give students a study guide before the test. Answer all the questions on the study guide. Read the information and find the answers for any questions it asks. What information off of this could become an essay question?

Ask instructors what types of questions will be asked on the test. How much time will you have to take the test? How many questions might be on the test? Take time to think about different questions and practice writing essays on these questions.

Know any key concepts or ideas discussed in class or in the material covered. Do you know how to define these key concepts? Write practice essay test questions on these key concepts.

One of the problems students has in taking tests are they lack the information needed to do well on a test. This happens because students miss class and often do not get the notes from the class or any handouts available. If you have to miss class, ask someone for notes and a copy of any of the handouts. A great way to do this is to start a buddy system. If you miss class a student will give you his/her notes. If he misses class then you will give him/her notes.

Never fail to do any homework even if the teacher does not grade it. Homework is designed to prepare you for tests. Practice doing all the steps of a problem and doing them correctly. Otherwise when the test comes you will be unprepared for it. If you are unsure of how to answer a problem or question, ask the instructor before the exam comes.

The beginning point of taking essay tests is to read the question thoroughly to understand what it is asking. Read each word and consider what it means before beginning the essay. Jot down key issues about the question. Write out a brief outline answering the test question. What is the question asking? Use the outline to help you answer the essay. Be sure to answer every part of the essay question. Go back over the question again once you finish answering it. Read the question again. Are you answering what it is asking? Often students turn in essays that do not address the specific questions given on the essay. Interpret what the essay is asking and then make the outline. Read the question several times before finishing the essay question.

Preparing for exams means studying after class and doing homework. A great way to do this is through study groups. Make up practice tests and answering these. If you miss class have a class buddy to give you notes or vice versa. Take time answering essay questions as you outline the main points. A little preparation will make a great difference during exam time.

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