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Kick Your Test Prep Into High Gear With These Tips

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Map Out Your Strategy
There is nothing better than a good, solid plan. Take out your calendar and look at your curriculum as well as all of your “must-dos”, like: SAT prep, family events, work commitments, etc. and fill in your calendar.  One way is to work backwards from key due dates.  For example, if you know that you have an exam 3 weeks from now, and you know which chapters will be on the exam, assign a certain amount of chapters per day to be read.  Breaking it down into smaller chunks will make it more manageable and you will always have a bird’s eye view of what remains to be done.  Charting out your schedule may take a little time, but it creates an environment where there is one less thing to think about, just follow your schedule and you will be much further ahead.  Working systematically through your plan will put your test preparation into high gear.

Practice Exams
Taking practice exams is helpful in several ways. For SATs it is helpful to know what it is like to sit for several hours taking intense exams.  You can learn how to time yourself, so that you can pace yourself for the real SAT. For your academic, in-school exams, practice exams help test your familiarity with the subject material.

For both types of examinations, after getting the results, you will have insight on your weaker areas and can then concentrate on strengthening those areas so that you shine as brightly as possible in all areas.

Fortunately, practice exams for SATs and academic exams are quite readily available.  So, take advantage of their availability and start practicing now. Remember practice makes perfect!

Self Discipline
No matter how much help you have had or how intelligent you are, in the end you have to be the one who puts in the hard work.  It will be your effort that determines your success.  You need to get good at self-regulating and doing your work because you are supposed to and not because a parent tells you to do so. If you haven’t done so already, right now is a good time to learn how to do that. For example, when studying do it in an area that is free from distractions. Put your mobile phone in another room so that you will not hear it ringing or, hear a notification beep from Instagram. Your parents may already tell you to do that but, if you do it for yourself it’ll make your study time more effective. Perhaps you have a difficult time sitting for long periods, to assist with this you could set an alarm to ring every 45 minutes and then take a quick break. Simply knowing that a break is coming can help you focus. There are different studies that show this kind of forced intensive work period can, in fact, be more productive. A brief break can help you relax for a moment or two: stretch, take a restroom break, or do whatever you need to do, and then allow you to refocus when you get back to work.

Hard work is critical for success. However, working smart is also important. So, make a plan, use self discipline, and practice ahead of time to ensure that you come out on top and as an A-grade test scorer.


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