How to Prepare for School Assessments
By Nichole Ahlstrom
COLL100 Faculty at American Public University
Have you ever wondered how in the world you did so poorly on a test when you studied your heart out? Have you ever wondered if you misinterpreted the information, or maybe you didn’t study the right material? If you answer yes then you are not alone. Many students think they’re taking accurate notes, know how to properly review the material, and can ask the professor questions in preparation for tests. Putting forth every effort in studying to only find out that the efforts made were not good enough can be detrimental to a student’s psyche.
In preparing for a test certain techniques must be addressed. For example, where and when studying occurs is important. How much material and what specific information must be studied, taking proper notes, and the list goes on. The most important aspect of studying for a test is not only reviewing class lectures, notes, and textbook material, but also the process that needs to follow is imperative. Here are my thoughts as an instructor on the most important features of studying for an exam.
Reign in Your Focus
Students must concentrate and focus on the information at hand. Study time is your time to focus on your schoolwork and nothing more. In order to better manage study time, a plan of action is crucial. Preparing a schedule for assignments throughout the semester will allow you to study information according to when assignments are due so that you are prepared. Adjusting your schedule allows you to adapt to situations that arise and to incorporate extra study time if needed.
Give the Information a Purpose
You need understand why learning specific information for a test is imperative. Think about how the information can be applied educationally or professionally to help retain the material. Having a deeper understanding of the information that must be identified will help when it comes up on a test.
Improve Your Review Process
Reviewing information is also essential in being a successful test taker. Reviewing your class materials, and reading assignments, multiple times will also help you recall the information when it comes time to prove what you know.
Ensuring you do well during a test is crucial in succeeding in college. There is a wealth of information available for students to learn the tricks and trades of being a successful test taker in college. Having a positive attitude, being prepared, reviewing material, good time management, communication with your professor, and yes even a healthy diet and exercise are all essential components in test taking. One tip that does not seem to be discussed quite as often is speaking with the professor before test day to clarify any misconceptions and to examine the information accurately. As an online educator I strongly encourage all of my students to communicate with me on any questions or concerns they may have. Communication between professor and student is extremely important; especially in an online classroom. Just know as a college student those tests are going to inevitable. Therefore, learning proper study techniques are essential in your educational achievement.
About the Author
Nichole Ahlstrom is an adjunct faculty member who teaches COLL100: Foundations of Online Learning at American Public University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration and a Master of Science in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. She is currently working on her Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership degree with the University of Phoenix. Nichole lives in Okinawa, Japan with her husband, who is an active duty Marine, and they have two boys. Nichole loves being a mother, spending time with her family, volunteering, exercising, and traveling.
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