You are often told that you should prepare several days in advance for tests. But no one ever tells you what you should do each day. Here’s some guidance for preparing for math/science tests.
Five Days in Advance
Develop a list of questions/problems you think will be on the test. For math classes, look at the theme of each day’s class. There will probably be one question from each day’s lecture. For science classes, review your notes and make a list of key concepts covered. Terms used to describe these concepts will also be important. Also, make a list of any problems you did in class.
Four Days in Advance
Develop worked out sample problems for each type of problem that is likely to be on the test. Put these on a “cheat sheet” (see the topic: Preparing a Cheat Sheet). That way you will have a single sheet of paper you can study from.
Also make flash cards for formulas, definitions, symbols, or other information you need to memorize. (See the topic: Making Flash Cards).
Three Days in Advance
For math classes and for problems in science classes, do at least five problems of each type. You want to get to a point that the problem solutions come to you very naturally.
For information you need to memorize, start reviewing your flash cards in small chunks of time that you have available to you. Start putting your flash cards in 2 piles: one that you know well and one that you need to continue reviewing.
Two Days in Advance
Find old tests. In some cases, your teacher will provide these. You can also find these through your own personal networks. Also look at Koofers.com for tests.
Take these tests under test conditions. That means you take them in the same amount of time that will be available on the actual test. Also use only those resources that you will be allowed to have. You will want to do this someplace where you won’t be interrupted.
Then review how you did.
- Did you have enough time?
- Did your test taking strategy work?
- Did you draw a blank on any question?
Once you answered these questions, think about how you will modify your test taking approach. Doing well on tests required that you have a strategy.
One day in Advance
Get together with other students in the class and test each other. For problem questions, make up sample problems to test each other. You learn a lot by making up sample problems.
For memory questions, test each other from the flash cards you have developed. This way you will get the advantage of what others thought was important. When you respond orally to a question, you also increase your retention of the information.
One final thing, when you quizzing each other, you are likely to remember incidents that occurred around the questions you missed. Maybe you were teased about your answers. Whatever the incident, the connection of the incident to the question will help you remember the topic better.
If you are disciplined about these five steps, you should do well on your most different tests..