5 Study Hacks to Ace Your Tests

5 Study Hacks to Ace Your Tests

Whether you’re gearing up for a pre-employment assessment or getting ready for your final exam, the stress of studying can make it difficult to stay focused. Locking yourself in a room with a mountain of energy drinks is not the way forward here. Consider the following five study hacks instead.

  • Try Mnemonics

Ever heard of a mnemonic device? It turns a complex detail that you need to remember into a catchy acronym.

Take PEMDAS, for example. You might know it as parenthesis, exponents, multiply, divide, add and subtract. You can turn it into a mnemonic device like Please (P) Excuse (E) My (M) Dear (D) Aunt (A) Sally (S) – much easier. Get creative and see what you can come up with.

  • Take Regular Breaks

You probably know how important it is to take breaks. But how often should you take them, and for how long? One solution is to make use of a technique like the Pomodoro. Available in the form of timer apps, the method involves breaking your study into 25-minute sessions separated by five-minute intervals.

  • Use Technology

While it’s a good idea to stay away from any distracting apps or websites, some can actually assist you in preparing for tests. Here are some popular options:

  • My Study Life: Available on mobile and desktop platforms, this app serves as a planner with customizable layouts to help you stay organized. You can also use it to note down tasks and set reminders for assignments.
  • Quizlet: According to their website, over 40 million people use this app to stay on top of their studies. Quizlet allows you to create your own tests using simple digital flashcards.
  • SimpleMind: This app makes it easy to get your thoughts on (digital) paper and improve your memory. It does this by working as a geographic organizer that lets you create charts, maps and notes.

If you’d rather keep your phone off, there are several handy websites that you can access on your laptop instead. Testing.org is one of them, providing reviews for the best test prep courses for ACT, SAT, GRE tests and more.

  • Test Yourself

A great way to prepare for the real deal is to simulate it. Write up quizzes to test yourself after each section. You can do it with notes (cheat sheets) at first before trying without them. If you know how long your exam is, you can use a timer to set limits. Putting these together can be tedious, so it’s best to focus on the most difficult topics first.

  • Stay Healthy and Hydrated

You may be tempted to drink something sugary, but the temporary energy boost doesn’t make up for the crash that inevitably follows. Drink lots of water instead. You can also eat foods that improve your memory and cognition. This includes salmon, blueberries, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, nuts, and dark chocolate.

Remember to follow a consistent sleep schedule and incorporate regular exercise into your week. Having a study buddy or group to keep you accountable can also help.

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