How to cram for a test

This article was co-authored by Arash Fayz. Arash Fayz is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of LA Tutors 123, an academic consulting and private tutoring company based in Los Angeles, California. Arash has over 10 years of educational consulting experience, managing the tutoring of students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to score higher on standardized tests and gain admission to their target schools. He has a BA in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Have you have been too busy or simply procrastinated getting ready for a test? While cramming probably won’t get you an “A,” it can definitely save you from an “F.” Follow the suggestions below and get ready for a long, hard night.

How to cram for a test

How to cram for a test

Arash Fayz
Test Prep Tutor Expert Interview. 1 November 2019. If you don’t know them by heart, write them down on a separate piece of paper—your cramming notes—or on small note cards. [2] X Research source This will help you identify what you need to know, and you’ll have a handy set of flash cards.

  • The act of rewriting may also help you memorize the content. If you’re a good visual learner, then this will definitely help. If you’re a good auditory learner, meaning you learn by hearing, recite the words as you write them down on the note cards.
  • If you have enough time, consider rewriting your note cards several times. It may seem like overkill, but if you’re trying to learn facts and information, it’s very helpful. If you’re trying to learn equations or more practical applications, this repetition is not as useful.

How to cram for a test

How to cram for a test

Arash Fayz
Test Prep Tutor Expert Interview. 1 November 2019. If not, do the practice tests or review questions at the ends of your textbook chapters. Only do the questions that are directly relevant to the concepts you’ve identified as important. Don’t spend a lot of time on each question. If you get stuck on a question, note it and come back to it after you grade your test. [4] X Trustworthy Source American Psychological Association Leading scientific and professional organization of licensed psychologists Go to source

  • Grade your self-tests. Be honest with your grading. If you’re not, you will only hurt yourself when it comes to the actual test. Look at the questions you got wrong and compare those to your cramming notes or flashcards. You may need to make some new flashcards or revisit some of the concepts you thought you knew.
  • How to Study If You Only Have Minutes

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    How to cram for a test

    How to cram for a test

    We’ve all been there: you either procrastinate or forget about a test until the last minute, at which point you realize that you have less than an hour to cram in as much knowledge as possible. Here’s how to make the most of your cram session and study for your test in an hour or less.

    Find a Quiet Study Space

    If you’re at school, head to the library or a quiet classroom. If you’re studying at home, turn off the TV, shut off your phone, power down the computer, and head to your room. Politely request that your friends and/or family give you time to study quietly. If you have only a short period of time to cram, you’ll need 100% of your focus.

    Review Your Study Guide

    If you’ve been lucky enough to receive a study guide from your teacher, use it! Study guides are a crammer’s best friend. Read through the study guide as many times as you can. Memorize as much of the content as possible, using mnemonic devices like acronyms or songs. You can also try reading out loud and discussing the content with a friend or family member. Don’t worry about making flashcards or taking notes—an in-depth review of the study guide itself will be more effective.

    Crack Open the Textbook

    If you do not have a study guide, grab a pen and a notebook and open up your textbook. After you’ve confirmed which chapter(s) the test will cover, read the first two pages of each relevant chapter. Look for major ideas, vocabulary, and concepts, and as you read, summarize any words or phrase that are bold or highlighted in the text. (You can do this summary process in writing if you have time, or simply state your summary out loud).

    After you’ve read the first two pages of every chapter, read the last page of every chapter and answer the review questions in your head. If you can’t figure out an answer to a review question, look it up in the textbook before moving on. These review questions are often good previews of the type of content to expect on your test.

    Review Notes, Quizzes and Assignments

    Don’t have access to your textbook? Gather as many notes, quizzes, and assignments relevant to your upcoming test as you can. Your personal notes will hold plenty of useful information, and your teacher’s quizzes and assignments are often one of the main sources of test questions. Read every page as you would a study guide or textbook chapter, focusing on key terms and concepts. Try to memorize as much of the content as you can with mnemonic devices.

    Quiz Yourself

    Using your study guide, textbook, and/or previous assignments, hold a quick quiz session. Look for key terms, then cover up the answers with your hand and try to define them. Next, look for big concepts, then flip over the pages and explain the concepts in your head. Circle or write down any topics you have trouble with and review them several times.

    If you have time and access to a study buddy, he or she can help out by guiding you through one last quiz session, but self-studying is just as productive.

    Write Down Your Mnemonic Devices

    As soon as the teacher hands out the test and says “begin”, write your newly-created mnemonic devices (acronyms, phrases, etc.) down on your test paper. Seeing these mnemonic devices will jog your memory as you go through the test.

    Ask the Teacher for Help

    If you get confused or stuck during the test, don’t be afraid to raise your hand and politely ask for help. Many teachers are willing to guide you in the right direction, particularly if they know you to be a hard-working student.

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    We promise your teacher isn’t out to get you. As unpleasant as taking a test can often be, it actually does more than just show your teacher what you know: it can actually help you learn.

    Studies have shown that students who are tested regularly actually learn more content and retain it longer than students who have not been tested. Great news for final exams. Frequent testing has even been shown to help decrease test anxiety.

    Not sure how to study for a test? Follow these study tips to make your best grade!

    How to cram for a test

    1. Get informed

    Don’t walk into your test unprepared for what you will face. Before you start studying, find out:

    • textbook chapters and topics the test will cover
    • test format

    Will there be multiple-choice questions or short answers? Will you write an in-class essay? The goals and layout of the test will determine how you tackle learning the material.

    2. Think like your teacher

    Your homeworks assignments, quizzes, handouts, daily notes, and classwork are all indicators of what your teacher thinks is important about the information and what might appear on the test.

    3. Make your own study aids

    When it comes to learning, a 2013 study showed that practice tests work BETTER than simply highlighting or re-reading your notes. So, turn your notes into flashcards or use a flashcard app for memorizing Spanish vocab. Ask your friends to quiz you or write your own practice test.

    4. Practice for the inevitable

    Outline essays ahead of time. For math tests, do plenty of practice problems similar to ones that you KNOW will appear. Make a list of questions that you think might show up on the test (and then make sure you can answer them!).

    5. Study every day

    If you have a test in a week, studying a little each day will help you identify tough concepts or weak areas in your knowledge in advance. Can’t figure out factoring? Log on to Homework Help and get your questions answered.

    6. Cut out the distractions

    How to cram for a test

    Distractions make it difficult to pay attention to what you’re doing, which in turn makes it harder to commit facts to memory. Give yourself a leg up by turning off the notifications on your phone, temporarily blocking your favorite websites, or sticking to instrumental music while you study (so you’re not tempted to sing along!). Taking a break every 45 minutes or so will also help you stay focused.

    7. Divide big concepts from smaller details

    If you’re studying a big topic—like the Civil War for history or cellular processes for biology—try breaking the material you need to study into chunks. Study one battle at a time or one chapter section at a time—and then quiz yourself. Ask yourself questions about what you’ve just studied, and even write your answers down.

    8. Don’t neglect the “easy” stuff

    Even if you’ve been acing a certain subject or concept all year and think the test will be a breeze, you should still give it a review before the big day. You don’t want to lose points for careless errors or forget to memorize a key geometry formula.

    9. Don’t skip school

    Missing classes automatically puts you at a disadvantage. Make sure you go to class (especially during the week leading up to the test) and attend any review sessions your teacher holds. Did you have to miss an important class? You can always ask your teacher or one of our tutors for help catching up.

    10. Review the day of the test

    Before you take the test, give yourself time for a quick review. Shuffle through those flashcards a couple of times or re-read your chapter outline. This will ensure the material is fresh in your mind.

    Still stuck on how to study for your test?

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    How to cram for a test

    How to cram for a test

    There’s no need to feel completely frightened if you’ve procrastinated until the night before a test to study. Although you won’t be able to commit much to long-term memory in a one-night cram session, you can learn enough to pass the test using these techniques.

    How to Study the Night Before a Test

    • Eat a nutritious meal and prepare a few healthy snacks so you won’t need to get up later
    • Set up in a comfortable spot with your study materials (pencils, note cards, highlighters) and class materials (notes, quizzes, tests, handouts, study guides)
    • Focus for 30 to 45minutes, then break for 5
    • Take notes and use mnemonic devices to improve recall
    • Aim for comprehension over memorization
    • Explain concepts and ideas to a third party
    • Get a good night’s sleep

    Physical Needs

    The brain and the body are linked, so before you sit down to start a study session, it’s a good idea to take care of your body: go to the bathroom, get some water or tea, and be sure you’re dressed in a way that won’t distract you (nothing scratchy or stiff). Focus and calm are crucial to studying seriously; to get your body on the same page, try doing some deep breathing and yoga stretches to help you get your mind off any other concerns. Essentially, this prep is meant to get your body to help you, not distract you, so you have no excuses to break your study focus.

    Snacking during or before studying can be helpful, but choose wisely. The ideal meal is something without a lot of sugar or heavy carbs that can lead to an energy crash. Instead, grab some high-protein grilled chicken or scramble some eggs for dinner, drink green tea with acai, and follow it all with a few bites of dark chocolate. It’s always easier to stay on task and process information when your brain has been given what it needs to function properly.

    The other upside is that by eating something before you begin studying, you’ll be less tempted to get hungry (and distracted) and quit studying early. To further head off any distracting snack attacks, be prepared ahead of time. When you go to your study area, bring a snack with you. This should be something high in nutrients and mess-free, like mixed nuts, dried fruit, or a protein bar. Avoid highly processed foods like chips, and beware of sneaky foods like granola bars that are full of hidden sugar that will leave you stranded in an hour or so.

    One Step at a Time

    Start by getting organized. Get all the materials that relate to the test you’re taking—notes, handouts, quizzes, book, projects—and lay them out neatly in a way that makes sense to you. You might organize them by topic, in chronological order, or in some other way that works. Perhaps you like to use color-coded highlighters or stacks of notecards. The point is that there’s no one way to organize: You have to find the best system that helps you make connections with the material.

    By the night before a test, you should already have a good baseline of knowledge on the test topics. That means your goal here is to review and refresh. If your teacher gave you a study guide, start with that, quizzing yourself as you go along. Refer to your other materials if you can’t remember an item on the guide, and then write it down. Use mnemonic devices to help you remember bits of information that you wouldn’t otherwise, but try to avoid just memorizing everything: it’s harder to recall straight facts than it is to have a network of connected ideas that you can rely on.

    If you don’t have a study guide or if you’ve finished going over it, prioritize notes and handouts. Things like dates, names, and vocabulary words are likely to show up on tests, so study those first. After that, review the bigger-picture stuff: material that covers cause-and-effect relationships within the topic area and other ideas that could show up on an essay question. For these, memorization is less important than having a solid enough understanding to explain it back on a written answer.

    It can seem overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of material to review, so take it slowly. A good rule of thumb is to focus for 30- to 45-minute increments followed by 5-minute breaks. If you try to cram in all the information the night before the test, your brain will overload and you’ll have to work to regain your focus on studying. This is why it’s also useful to review for a few days before the test, not just the night before so you can spread out the material and review everything multiple times over of a few separate sessions.

    Buddy System

    If you really want to test your understanding of the material, try explaining it to someone who isn’t in the class. Get a family member or friend and “teach” them as much as you can remember. This will let you see how well you understand the concepts and how well you can make connections (to prepare for short-answer or essay questions).

    If you have a partner or a family member to help you, have them quiz you on the material. As you go, make a list of anything you get stuck on or can’t remember. Once you’ve been quizzed, take your list and study that material repeatedly until you’ve got it.

    Finally, write down all your mnemonic devices, important dates, and quick facts on one sheet of paper, so you can refer to it the morning before the big test.

    Final Preparations

    Nothing will make you do worse on a test than pulling an all-nighter. You may be tempted to stay up all night and cram in as much as is possible, but by all means, get some sleep the night before. When testing time comes, you won’t be able to recall all the information you learned because your brain will be functioning in survival mode.

    On the morning of the test, make sure to eat a healthy breakfast for plenty of energy. Throughout the morning, run through your review sheet: while you’re eating, at your locker, or on the way to class. When it comes time to put the review sheet away and sit down for the test, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve done everything possible to help your brain get through the test with flying colors.

    How to cram for a test

    Being properly organized and prepared for tests and exams can make all the difference to school performance. Effective studying starts with the right attitude—a positive outlook can shift studying from a punishment to an opportunity to learn.

    There is no one-size-fits-all approach when learning how to effectively study. Studying methods should be tailored to each student. Everyone has different abilities, so it is important to determine what works for you and what doesn’t. (Find out what type of learner you are and which study techniques will work best for you!)

    For some students, studying and staying motivated comes easily — others may have to work a little bit harder.

    What Is The Most Effective Way To Study?

    Finding the best way to study is an ongoing process. It isn’t something that can be left to the night before the test. You should be constantly improving your study skills to better understand what works (and what doesn’t).

    Learning how to study better helps avoid panic and frustration the next time a big test is coming up. After all, you are more likely to do well and be less stressed before a test when you have had time to properly review and practice the material!

    Mastering effective study habits not only makes it easier to learn but will also help you get better grades in high school and post-secondary.

    Discover the 12 secrets to studying effectively that will help you ace your next test.

    How To Study Effectively

    Get organized

    Carry a homework planner at all times. Entering homework, projects, tests and assignments as soon as they are assigned will make sure they aren’t forgotten about.

    Pay attention in class

    It’s important to concentrate and avoid distractions when the teacher is speaking. Practice active listening by concentrating on what’s being said and taking notes in your own words. This will help make sure you hear (and understand) what is being taught in class.

    Steer clear of distractions

    Distractions are everywhere—from cell phones to social media to friends. Be aware of what distracts you in class and know how to steer clear of these distractions. Avoid sitting next to friends if you know they will distract you. Turning off your cell phone will also help make sure you are paying attention to your teacher.

    Make sure notes are complete

    Writing clear and complete notes in class will help you process the information you are learning. These notes will also become study notes that can be reviewed before a test. Talk to friends or the teacher if you have missed a class to ensure your notes are complete.

    Ask questions if you don’t understand

    Raise your hand and ask questions if you don’t understand something. If you don’t feel comfortable asking in front of everyone, write yourself a reminder to talk to the teacher after class.

    Make a study schedule/plan

    When making a study schedule, look at your planner and think about what needs to be accomplished. Think about the types of questions that will be on the test and the topics that will be covered so you know what you should focus on. Set specific goals for each study session, like how many topics you will cover by the end of the session.

    Start Studying More Effectively

    Get more out of your study sessions with the complete study toolkit
    including note taking templates, tips, and more.

    Review notes from class every evening

    After school, review and expand on the notes from class. Reviewing notes helps move material learned from short-term memory into long-term memory, which will help next time you have a big test.

    Talk to teachers

    Teachers are there to help you do your best. Talk to your teacher and ask for clarification or extra help if you need it before your test. Taking the initiative to ask for help goes a long way with teachers!

    Designate a study area

    The best study spot is one that is quiet, well-lit, and in a low-traffic area. Make sure there is a clear workspace to study and write on. Everyone’s needs are different, so it is important you find a spot that works for you.

    Study in short bursts

    For every 30 minutes you study, take a short 10-15 minute break to recharge. Short study sessions are more effective and help you make the most of your study time. Find out more about taking a study break that works.

    Simplify study notes

    Make studying less overwhelming by condensing notes from class. Underline or highlight key words. Create visual aids like charts, story webs, mind maps, or outlines to organize and simplify information and help you remember better.

    Study with a group

    Working with classmates encourages an interactive environment to keep you engaged. This gives you a chance to test your knowledge with others, quiz each other on the content, and help boost each other’s confidence.

    Study Smart, Not Hard

    Knowing how to study effectively is a skill that will benefit you for life. Developing effective study skills requires lots of time and patience. If you follow these tips you’ll be on your way to discovering which type of studying works best for you—so you can knock your next test out of the park!

    Find more study tips by watching our video below

    Need some extra help? Oxford Learning is here for you. Get more study tips and learning resources to help you succeed in school:

    Study Tips

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    How to cram for a test

    Interested in getting a better grade on every single test that you take? I bet you didn’t know that when you sit down to study, there are actually study tips that can help you make the most of your time. Oh. You did know? Well, good. Perhaps that’s why you’re on this page! You wanted to learn more about these eight study tips so you can learn the test information faster, stay focused longer, and get a score that’s higher than you’d get going it alone.

    Take a peek at the following study tips to get ready for the next test you take in school.

    Focus On Studying

    How to cram for a test

    So, you sit down to study and you can’t seem to keep your mind on your work, huh? Relax. This article has you covered because it has the tricks and tips to keep you on the right track. Read here for concrete ways to fix your wandering attention and stay focused on Napoleon’s conquests, the Pythagorean Theorem, your multiplication tables, or whatever else it is you’re supposed to be learning.

    Study Smart For Any Test

    How to cram for a test

    Got a multiple-choice test coming up? An essay exam? The Redesigned SAT? Need to know how to cram for your test in an hour? A few hours? A few days? Check out this list for study skills tips related to major tests, minor tests, and every single one of those tests and quizzes in between.

    Study In One of These 10 Places

    How to cram for a test

    Okay. We all know that studying in the middle of a hockey game is probably not ideal. So, where is a good place to park it, get out your notes, and learn some material? This study skills tip describes ten great places to learn a little bit about something new. Nope, your great-aunt’s funeral is not one of them, but we can understand why you’re tempted.

    Listen To Music Designed For Studying

    How to cram for a test

    Theorists argue about the efficacy of playing music while studying, but every good student knows that absolute quiet can sometimes send you flying off the nearest balcony. Check here for twenty-five lyric-free tunes sure to get you through your next study session, (and safely to your next class.) There are also links to study music spots on Pandora and Spotify, too.

    Avoid The Top 7 Study Distractions

    How to cram for a test

    This study skills tip is invaluable because it lets you know which distractions to watch out for before you pick up your notes. Here, you’ll find five internal distractions and five external distractions with quick, easy fixes, so you can be at the top of your game when you learn the test material.

    Use Mnemonic Devices

    How to cram for a test

    Roy G. Biv is not your crazy cousin’s new boyfriend. It’s an acronym used by school kids to remember the colors of the rainbow (although the “indigo” and “violet” colors are often replaced by purple). But that’s beside the point. Using an acronym, one of many mnemonic devices, to remember something is smart! Mnemonic devices can aid your memory when you’re trying to cram famous battles, scientific formulas, and dead poets’ last words into your brain before a test. This article gives you a few more.

    Studying for a math test does not have to feel overwhelming. Test-taking in general can cause anxiety, but by managing time and honing good study habits, you can help to ease the stress. Although many people may find math challenging and test-taking to be difficult, here’s how to study for a math test to make it easier and be successful.

    Top Reasons Students Lose Points on a Math Test

    First things first, it’s important to remember these tips in order to maximize your test score. The most common reasons why people lose points on a math test include:

    1. Directions:

    On any test, it’s of utmost importance to read the directions closely. See if you have to show your work or just provide answers. Many math tests offer partial credit if the work is right, even if the final answer is not.

    2. Bad Handwriting:

    Try to be as neat as possible so the person grading your test doesn’t misinterpret one number for another (i.e. a 3 for an 8). Also, some teachers may want you to box your final answer so it’s easy to locate.

    3. Math Vocabulary and Concepts:

    Math, like English, has vocabulary. Be sure to hone the vocabulary and concepts before a test so you understand what is being asked.

    How to cram for a test

    Photo by from Pexels

    How to Study for a Math Test in 10 Easy Steps

    Here are some of the top tips for how to study for math exams.

    1. Start Early

    Being prepared for a test starts with taking class seriously. Try not to miss any classes or lectures. While it helps to be in the classroom, it’s only useful if you pay close attention. When you don’t understand a concept, ask your teacher questions. Use the textbook as a resource and study a little everyday.

    2. Do Your Homework

    Homework is provided to reiterate and absorb the concepts from the lesson. Don’t copy others or skip it. When you do your homework, you are studying. By understanding basic math concepts, you can easily build to continue learning. If you see recurring problems or concepts, it’s likely those will be tested. Treat your homework like a study guide.

    3. Try a Planning Approach

    Rather than piling all your studying up at the last minute, try to plan ahead. Try to hone study skills and techniques to create good habits. Give yourself time limits and start studying 3 days before a test. As you get closer to the test day, you can lessen the load. Here’s an example of how the 3-2-1 approach works:

    • 3 days before a test: Study all vocabulary, do a lot of practice problems, and review any answers you got wrong on homework (60 minutes).
    • 2 days before a test: Review the vocabulary briefly. Perform 10-15 practice problems (45 minutes).
    • 1 day before a test: Review vocabulary. Do one homework problem from each previous night’s homework (30 minutes).

    4. Use Practice Tests and Exams

    Many teachers will provide you with old exams to practice. Sometimes, you can even find old exams online. Rework these problems and go over the homework and notes. By creating your own practice test, you can try your hand at each type of problem to prepare for what might show up on the test.

    5. Use Flashcards

    As mentioned above, math does mirror other subjects in the fact that there are concepts and vocabulary terms to memorize. Along with these, you must often know formulas. As such, it is useful to make flashcards with the aforementioned items to help remember them. Sometimes, teachers will let you use a study guide on a test. If so, include vocabulary words and formulas. If not, try a brain dump. When the test begins, write everything down while it’s fresh in your head so you can refer to the list during the test.

    6. Practice Online

    Leverage all types of resources. There are websites specifically dedicated to subjects in math, such as Other sites that can be of assistance include Khan Academy and YouTube.

    7. Try a Study Group

    Oftentimes, you may not understand a concept that your friend does. In these cases, it’s helpful to set up study groups and work alongside friends. Studying in groups can help keep you on track and learn from each other.

    8. Set Rewards

    Staying focused and studying in advance deserves rewards. As such, you can set up your own rewards systems based on what you like to do. For example, if you want to save up for a special gift, place a monetary reward in a jar every time you complete a homework assignment. After the test, go buy yourself a present. Or, consider rewarding yourself with self-care like a massage or a nice dinner when you successfully pass a test.

    9. Get Good Sleep

    Just as important as studying is getting enough sleep. There is research that suggests that memories become stable during sleep. Additionally, being deprived of sleep can detrimentally affect focus and attention. Therefore, when you plan when to study, make sure you can still get enough sleep.

    10. Learn from Mistakes

    After you get a graded test back, go over the mistakes and understand how to fix them. Since math concepts are known to build upon one another, it’s important you understand what was done wrong so that as the concepts repeat and build, you know what to do next time.

    How to cram for a test

    Photo by Louis Bauer from Pexels

    Extra Tips

    When possible, try to apply math to real life. This can happen by applying math in financial management situations, baking and cooking, home improvement, at work and more.

    Furthermore, when studying, try to do so distraction-free. Find a study environment that works best for you. Whether that’s a cafe, library or at home, limit distractions. You can do so by turning off electronic devices and only having the materials you need in your study space.

    It All Adds Up

    By taking your math classes and homework seriously from day one, you can alleviate unnecessary stress when it comes to test time. Although it may seem obvious, one of the best tips for how to study for a math test and perform your best is to believe in yourself and trust your intuition. Adopt a positive mentality and a proactive attitude and you can maximize your performance on exam day.

    When I was a student and teachers would say, “Study for your math test!” I would think, “How do I study for a math test?”

    I now realize that study is the wrong verb. You really need to ‘practice’ for a math test.How to cram for a test

    You not only need to KNOW material for a math test. You must know HOW TO DO something with that material. It requires a shift in preparation. Also, there is no way to prepare for a math test the night before. At that point, you either know the material or you don’t. There is no faking.

    First, it’s important to understand common reasons students lose points on math tests…

    5 Top Reasons Students Lose Points on Math Tests

    1. They didn’t follow directions! This is a big one! Always read the directions.
    2. Sloppy writing. Perhaps you wrote a “9,” but later read the digit as a “4.” That will obviously lead to a mistake. Most commonly, students misalign digits; for example, a digit that should be in the tens place gets added to the hundreds column.
    3. They are confused by math vocabulary. If you’re not sure what the difference is between a “sum” and a “product,” you’ll have trouble.
    4. Not doing homework regularly. Homework is your #1 study tool for math!
    5. Making errors on basic math facts. It helps to be fluent with your basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. (NOTE: People with learning disabilities often struggle with “basic” facts. In that case, take your time to calculate facts carefully.)

    Simple awareness of these factors can have a positive impact on your grade! But, as you might guess, there is more you can do…

    Math Test Study Plan

    Step 1: Know your basic math facts! There are hundreds of math games on the internet to help you practice your facts. They are the foundation of math and will continue to hold you back if you cannot answer each of them (0-10) in a split-second. (Again, people with learning disabilities might never master basic math facts. If that’s the case, just take your time as you do math problems.)

    Step 2: View homework as a “study guide.” Circle all problems that you do not know how to do and ask for help in class the next day. As you correct your homework in class, circle all problems you did wrong and take notes about how to do them correctly.

    IMPORTANT TIME LIMIT: Don’t spend more than 60 minutes/night working on math homework. If you can’t finish the assignment in this amount of time, talk to your teacher. After 60 minutes, your brain will have exhausted it’s capacity for learning anything new. From there, you’ll most likely step into a tail-spin of confusion that will only escalate over time. You will be far more productive in the long-term if you stick to a time-limit.

    Step 3: Know your math vocabulary. (See our video, “How to Study Vocabulary” for a painless way to learn math vocab.)

    Step 4: Follow the “3-2-1” approach to study for your test:

    • 3 days before your test, study the math vocabulary (as described above). Also, do several practice problems; use the problems you originally got wrong on your homework. (Time limit: 60 minutes.)
    • 2 days before your test, review the vocabulary quickly. Do another 10-15 practice problems; use the problems you originally got wrong on your homework. (Time limit: 50 minutes.)
    • 1 day before your test, review those lovely vocabulary words and do one problem from each night’s homework. (Time limit: 30 minutes.)

    Step 5: When you first receive the test, write down any formulas or definitions you had to memorize. This will immediately free up some brain power for the rest of your test.

    Step 6: Read the directions! Twice.

    Step 7: Write neatly. Keep your numbers in the correct place-value!

    Step 8: When you are stuck, do as much as you can (you may get partial credit). Then, skip the problem and move on. Come back to it if you have time.

    Step 9: After your test is graded, make sure you understand how to correct any mistakes you made. If you do not understand the material now, you will continue to have problems in following chapters.

    Math can be challenging because everything you learn builds on knowledge you should have learned before. If you miss something, it will catch up with you. However, if you:

    • Learn your math facts,
    • Treat your homework like it is “test practice” (and learn from your mistakes)
    • learn math vocabulary (see simple video here)
    • Read the directions on the test…

    …it will not be long before your math test scores will SOAR!

    Get more easy-to-implement study and test-taking tips: For educators, click here. For parents, click here.

    How to cram for a test

    While it can be tempting for students to put off studying until they absolutely have to, cramming for tests actually leads to more stress, lowered comprehension, and poor performance.

    Why Cramming Doesn’t Work

    When students cram for a test at the last minute, they are studying to remember rather than studying to understand. With so much material to study in a short amount of time, their brain doesn’t have a chance to absorb or make lasting connections about what it is learning.

    As a result, students will forget the material almost as quickly as they learned it. Learning new material becomes more difficult because your child hasn’t retained what he or she has already learned. This can lead to your child playing a game of catch up to avoid falling farther behind.

    The solution? Ditching the late-night cram session routine.

    Find out how you can help your child learn to study without cramming and start building better study habits instead.

    How To Avoid Cramming When Studying For Your Next Test

    1. Stop Procrastinating

    Getting started is the hardest part for many students. Don’t put off studying until the last minute. Encourage your child to get started early, even if it’s something small. It’s much easier for your child to keep going once he or she has gotten started.

    Study A Bit Each Day

    Review what your child has learned in class each day. This can be a quick 10-15 minute session where your child goes over his or her notes from class. Daily recaps will help make studying for tests easier because your child is reviewing the material each day rather than trying to cram all this learning into a short amount of time.

    Plan Study Sessions In Advance

    When your child has an upcoming test, plan out which days will be reserved for studying. Having planned dedicated study days will give your child structure and help avoid procrastination.

    Follow A Schedule

    On top of planning study days, create a schedule that outlines exactly when your child will study. Block off time after school or after dinner that your child will use to study for the upcoming test. If there is no upcoming test, use this time to work on other projects and assignments.

    Find Your Child’s Best Study Time

    When creating your schedule, keep in mind when your child studies best. Some children prefer to study during the day, while others like studying later at night. Work with your child to find out he or she is most productive and schedule study sessions for that time of day.

    Prioritize School Work

    Even students with good intentions end up cramming last minute because they just have too much work. To make sure this doesn’t happen, help your child prioritize his or her work as soon as things are assigned. You can prioritize based on due date or how much an assignment or test is worth.

    Space Out Study Sessions

    Cram sessions aren’t effective because there is no long-term learning involved. By spacing out study sessions over a couple days (or even weeks) students’ minds have time to absorb, understand, and recall the material. Rather than studying for hours at one time, encourage your child to space out study sessions in the week leading up to the test.

    Study Material In Chunks

    Don’t try to study all the material at once. Instead, try studying a topic or two each day. Chunking material like this will make studying seem less overwhelming to your child. It will also help spread out study sessions for better long-term recall. Just make sure you start early enough to get through all the material!

    Take Good Notes In Class

    By taking good notes in class, it will be easier for your child to organize and review when it comes to test time. Taking organized, in-depth notes in class also means that your child already has quality review notes to study from.

    Keep Up With Homework & Assignments

    Falling behind on schoolwork is a big reason students find themselves cramming for tests. Know when homework and assignments are due, so you can schedule your child’s time effectively. This way, when your child has a test to study for, he or she isn’t scrambling to get everything done.

    Save The Night Before For Final Review

    Rather than cramming the night before a test, encourage your child to use the time for light review. The night before isn’t the time to start studying something new. Instead, go over any areas your child has been struggling with or needs an extra refresher.

    Learn From Your Experience

    If your child ends up in a situation where he or she is cramming the night before a test, take time to figure out why. Did your child have too much other work? Did he or she procrastinate getting started? Once you know the reasons, think about how your child can avoid the situation next time. This might be using an agenda to keep better track of assignments or getting started studying for the next test earlier.

    How to cram for a test

    While creating a solid study plan that spans over several days is considered the best practice for exams, sometimes life happens, and students need to fit a week’s worth of studying into a few days, or even just one night. With that in mind, here are three study plans students can use no matter how much (or little) time they have.

    Steps for Every Study Plan

    In her text Essential Study Skills, 8th ed, author Linda Wong outlines the process for creating a study plan that all students can benefit from as they approach finals week.

    Step 1: Identify specific topics and make a list of all topics and materials that need to be reviewed before the upcoming test.

    Step 2: Schedule specific days and times to review the materials and topics.

    Step 3: Create a plan of action for each review session. To avoid wasting review time, create a pattern or plan for reviewing each time you sit down. Throughout this review process, plan to make summary notes for the information you feel you need to review further.

    “The 5-Day Plan”

    Ideally, studying should start at least five days in advance of the exam to allow students an ample amount of time to go over course concepts and materials, and reach out to their instructor or peers if they find they have any questions. Linda Wong outlines the 5-day study plan in her text and suggests how students could organize their study sessions:

    Organize specific blocks of time on days 1, 2, 3, and 4 for review sessions. On day 5, dedicate all of your study time to reviewing your summary notes. Mark the study/ review days and times on your calendar or your weekly schedule. Coordinate these times with other students if you are going to review with a study partner or study group.

    Example of schedule:

    “The 3-Day Plan”

    Like the 5-day plan, the 3-Day plan has the benefit of giving the student time to fully go over course materials and lecture notes, and also gives them just enough time to reach out to their instructor or peers with questions.

    Students should still create a schedule like the one for the 5-day plan, but rather than try to block out longer periods of time for studying and set themselves up for information overload, students should block out multiple shorter blocks of time and take regular short breaks to help maintain focus.

    Here’s an example schedule for the 3-Day plan:

    “The 1-Day Plan”

    Sometimes life happens, and even though they meant to start studying days in advance, many students find themselves in the quandary of having to cram for an exam during finals week. Unfortunately, studying for hours-long sessions or pulling an all-nighter usually isn’t an effective strategy for memory retention, but there are four steps students can take to improve their odds:

    Step 1: Follow steps like you would for a 5-day plan, by organizing materials, identifying topics, and creating a schedule—taking care to include time to breaks.

    Step 2: Study—review materials, create summary notes for difficult concepts and take regular breaks. If students have other classes or activities, saving summary or lecture notes to their smartphone or using apps like MindTap are great strategies for studying on the go.

    Step 3: Get some sleep! Many students think pulling an all-nighter will help them perform better, but a lack of sleep impedes working memory function and attentiveness—which won’t help at all on exam day.

    Reference: Wong, Linda. 2015. Essential Study Skills, 8 th ed. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

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    How to cram for a test

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    Exams can seem intimidating and overwhelming for biology students. The key to overcoming these obstacles is preparation. By learning how to study for biology exams you can conquer your fears. Remember, the purpose of an exam is for you to demonstrate that you understand the concepts and information that have been taught. Below are some excellent tips to help you learn how to study for biology exams.

    Get Organized

    An important key to success in biology is organization. Good time management skills will help you to become more organized and waste less time preparing to study. Items such as daily planners and semester calendars will help you to know what you need to do and when you need to have it done.

    Start Studying Early

    It is very important that you start preparing for biology exams well in advance. I know, I know, it is almost ​tradition for some to wait until the last minute, but students who implore this tactic don’t perform their best, don’t retain the information and get worn out.

    Review the Textbook and Lecture Notes

    Be sure that you review your lecture notes before the exam. You should start reviewing your notes on a daily basis. This will ensure that you gradually learn the information over time and don’t have to cram.

    Your biology textbook is a wonderful source for finding illustrations and diagrams that will help you visualize the concepts you are learning. Be sure to reread and review the appropriate chapters and information in your textbook. You will want to make sure that you understand all the key concepts and topics.

    Get Answers To Your Questions

    If you are having difficulty understanding a topic or have unanswered questions, discuss them with your teacher. You don’t want to go into an exam with gaps in your knowledge.

    Get together with a friend or classmate and have a study session. Take turns asking and answering questions. Write your answers down in complete sentences to help you organize and express your thoughts.

    If your teacher holds a review session, be sure to attend. This will help to identify specific topics that will be covered, as well as fill in any gaps in knowledge. Help sessions are also an ideal place to get answers to your questions.

    Quiz Yourself

    To help prepare yourself for the exam and find out how much you know, give yourself a quiz. You can do this by using prepared flash cards or taking a sample test. You can also use online biology games and quiz resources. If your teacher holds a review session, be sure to attend. This will help to identify specific topics that will be covered, as well as fill in any gaps in knowledge. Help sessions are also an ideal place to get answers to your questions.


    Now that you have followed the previous steps, it’s time to rest and relax. You should be well prepared for your biology exam. It’s a good idea to make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before your exam. You have nothing to worry about because you are well prepared.

    Take An AP Biology Course

    Those who wish to gain credit for introductory college level biology courses should consider taking an Advanced Placement Biology course. Students enrolled in the AP Biology course must take the AP Biology exam to gain credit. Most colleges will give credit for entry-level biology courses for students who earn a score of 3 or better on the exam.

    Use Good Study Aids

    Biology flash cards are excellent tools for studying and memorizing key biology terms and information. AP Biology Flash Cards are a wonderful resource, not only for those taking AP Biology but also for biology students in general. If taking the AP Biology exam, these Top Five AP Biology Books contain extremely useful information that is sure to help you score high on the AP Biology exam.

    How to cram for a test

    Test Tactics: Mental Preparation

    Because tests tend to have a high degree of importance in how well you score in a class, it is understandable that taking tests can create a great deal of anxiety for many students. Even students who know they have learned all of the required material for the test find their minds going blank as they stare at the test. One of the easiest ways to overcome that anxiety is to prepare mentally for the test.

    Audio Version of this Post

    Mental Preparation Techniques

    Mentally preparing for an exam is not as difficult as it may sound. There are simple techniques that any student can use to ensure they are ready for the test when it is time to take it.

    Do not procrastinate.

    Study the material for the test when it becomes available, and continue to review the material up until the test day. By waiting until the last minute and trying to cram for the test the night before, you actually increase the amount of anxiety you feel. This leads to an increase in negative self-talk, such as I can’t learn this. I’m going to fail, which decreases your performance on the test. How to handle Procrastination

    Stay Positive

    The use of positive self-talk serves both to drown out negative self-talk and to increase your confidence in your abilities. Whenever you begin feeling overwhelmed or anxious about the test, tell yourself that you know the material and that you can pass the test. Use only positive words. Examples: I am smart. I will do well on this test. I have studied. I know the material. The thing to remember about negative self talk is, 1) we all have it, and 2) Why listen? It’s your fantasy, so if you can’t be a winner and positive in your own fantasy, what are you doing?

    Don’t Compare

    Do not compare yourself to other students, or compare your performance to theirs. Rather than worrying about how others will do or whether they think it is difficult, focus on your worries and your abilities. Regardless of how others perform, your performance is the only one that matters for your grade. Comparing yourself to others increase your anxiety and your level of negative self-talk before the test.


    Picture yourself taking the test and knowing the answers. Visualize yourself doing well on the test and having no problems with the material. Visualizations of you succeeding will increase your confidence in your abilities, which decreases the anxiety you feel before the test. Instead of thinking of this as a test, think of it as an opportunity to show what you know and what you have learned.

    Avoid negative classmates.

    Worry is contagious. Even if you are relaxed and confident, being around anxious, worried classmates will cause you to start feeling anxious. Before the test, avoid listening to the fears of friends and classmates.

    Feeling anxious and worried before an exam is normal, and every student experiences those feelings at some point. The problem with anxiety arises when it interferes with your ability to take the exam and perform well. Practicing mental preparation techniques and remembering that the test is not the only measure of your academic performance will ease your anxiety and ensure that you perform at your best.

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    Don’t Cram, Use a Five-Day Study Plan!

    How to cram for a testThe simple keys to a five-day study plan:

    1. Figure out what you need to know in (“prepare”).
    2. Make sure you know it (“review”).
    3. Start in advance & switch things up.

    1. Preparing study material for an exam is an active process. This is where you identify, organize, and consolidate your material. You want to end up with a study guide, flash cards, quizlets, concept maps, practice test questions that you made up, etc. (Don’t just passively re-write your notes or re-read a chapter–instead make something new.) Staring this five days before your exam helps solidify the material, plus it gives you time to identify what you still don’t understand so you can get your questions answered.

    2. Reviewing the material you prepared should also be active-this is where you figure out how much you actually know and what you still need to work on. Try “blank page testing,” quizzing yourself or a friend, and/or taking practice exams.

    Some Examples of Preparation and Review Strategies

    3. Switch up preparation and review

    People learn faster and perform better if they work in brief blocks of time spread out over longer periods of time, rather than in a few lengthy “cram” sessions. For example:

    • You will perform better on an exam if you spend one hour studying each day for 20 days than if you spend 10 hours studying each day for two days before the test.
    • It is easier to learn to shoot a 3-pointer better if you practice a little bit each day for a month rather than have one marathon session in an afternoon.
    • You will learn the tuba best if you practice a little each day (though your roommate may disagree about anything regarding you learning the tuba–fair enough).

    Put that principle to work by mixing up preparation and review. Don’t do all of your preparation, then stop that and do all of your review. Mix them up to learn best! (Use this principle to your advantage when you need to prepare for multiple exams/projects simultaneously–it can be a great silver lining in those stressful times to know that going back and forth to work on multiple subjects helps you learn each one better.)

    How to Make a Five-Day Study Plan

    1. Break the material on the exam into chunks or groups of material. (By chapter? Topic? Lecture? You decide what makes sense depending on your class.) For the example below, we will use 4 chunks or groups of material (A, B, C, and D). For example, Chunk A might be chapters 1-2, Chunk B is chapter 3, Chunk C is chapters 4-5, and Chunk D is chapter 6.
    2. Plan to spend about 2 hours studying on each of the five days.
    3. Work with the material in 2 ways: preparation and review.
    4. Decide what preparation and review strategies will work best for you, and include those on your five-day study plan chart. Click here for a downloadable word document of a Five-Day Study Plan.

    Sample Five-Day Study Plan Chart

    Click here for a downloadable word document of A Five-Day Study Plan.

    Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
    Prepare Chunk A: 2hrs Prepare Chunk B: 2 hrs;
    Review Chunk A: 30 min
    Prepare Chunk C: 1.5 hrs;
    Review Chunk B: 30 min;
    Review Chunk A: 15 min
    Prepare Chunk D: 1 hr;
    Review Chunk C: 30 min;
    Review Chunk B: 15 min;
    Review Chunk A: 15 min
    Review Chunk D: 25 min;
    Review Chunk C: 15 min;
    Review Chunk B: 10 min;
    Review Chunk A: 10 min
    Self-test on A, B, C, D: 1 hr

    You will have to get creative with your plan for those times when you have two or three prelims or other big assignments in the same week.

    During the five days you are studying for your exam be kind to your future self and don’t neglect your other courses!

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    You have a test on the horizon. It’s a big one, and you know you need to hit the books. Not sure where or how to begin? Don’t panic! Learn how to study for a test, step-by-step.

    How to cram for a test

    1. Ask the right questions

    You don’t want to walk in on test day unprepared for what you’re about to face. Try to get the answers to these crucial questions before you start studying.

    Questions to ask before a test

    • What material will the test cover?
    • Will there be an exam review session during class?
    • Will there be after-school opportunities for more review?
    • What is the format of the exam? Multiple-choice? Short answer? Will there be essays to write?
    • How many points is the exam worth?
    • Do you have specific study tips to help me prepare? (After all, your teacher knows your work the best!).

    2. Sort out your schedule

    You can actually spend less time studying for your exam if you start with a great game plan. Make a list of what topics you need to cover and when you’re going to cover them. Start your study schedule as early as possible (usually a few weeks before your test), and figure out how much time you’ll need to study each day to stay on track.

    3. Grab your gear

    Gather up all your class notes, quizzes, handouts and worksheets. Your previous homework will help you see what your teacher thinks is important. (Plus, you can learn from your past quiz mistakes).

    Study for exams in this order: 1.) definitely 2.) probably 3.) might be on the test.

    4. Study smarter

    Instead of memorizing all your notes, prioritize what you’ll study. Start with what will definitely be on the the test, then what will probably be on the test, and finally what might be on the test. That way, if you run out of time, you know you at least have the essentials covered. By starting with the toughest material first, you have time to ask your teacher questions or get help from our tutors.

    5. Mix it up

    Now that you know WHAT you need to study, figure out the best way to review and internalize what you predict will be on the exam. Make flashcards for history class, outline your biology notes, record yourself practicing your French accent—whatever you need to do to get ready. Check out our favorite “outside of the box” study methods.

    6. What keeps you motivated?

    Study groups can help you study more efficiently for exams. Make a plan with friends to review the class material together, share and compare notes, or work through tricky concepts. Or, reward yourself for each study session with something small (even if it’s just a TV break) to help you stay focused.

    7. Sleep still matters

    An all-nighter might sound like a good idea, but a restful night’s sleep is actually the key to your success. Start a healthy sleep routine in the weeks leading up to your exam, so you’ll be fresh and ready for test day. (But if you do happen to need some midnight study help, our on-demand tutors are there for you.)

    8. Bring what you’re supposed to bring

    Find out what you’re allowed to bring to the exam, and make sure you don’t leave anything essential at home. Many teachers will let you bring a calculator to math or science exams. Some classes may even hold open textbook or open notes exams. Stash pens, papers, and extra paper in your bag, so you’re ready for anything.

    Stuck on how to study for exams?

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    Final exams aren’t just any tests. They draw upon your knowledge from the entire semester, and you have to take a whole bunch of them at once. Depending on how your finals are weighted, your final exam grade could even mean the difference between an A and a C on your transcript!

    Follow our ultimate studying guide, and earn a top grade on your final exams.

    How to cram for a test

    1. Make a finals game plan.

    If you plan out your study sessions (for ALL your exams), you’ll get a better handle on how much work you’re facing. Use the calendar on your phone to set alerts and reminders for yourself so you stick to your plan.

    2. Start early.

    Start studying for finals a few weeks before the first exam, and figure out how much time to set aside each day for each subject. Be realistic about how long it will take to, say, memorize the dates for all the Civil War battles. You need to fit in brain breaks, too!

    3. Study in this order: a) definitely b) probably c) might be on the final

    Don’t just start from the beginning of your notes and try to cram everything in: Think about what you know for sure will be on each test and review that material first. Then move on to studying what will probably be on the test, then what might be covered. That way, if you run out of time, you know you at least have the basics nailed. Ask your teachers if they’ll share copies of previous finals so you can see what might be covered or how questions will be phrased.

    4. Give yourself more time to study for your toughest classes.

    If chemistry gave you trouble all semester, devote more time to that subject—even if it’s your last final. Look over your previous tests for the year, if you scored poorly on one unit in Spanish, chances are you didn’t absorb it all the first time. Take extra time now to review what you missed. By starting with the toughest stuff first, you have time to ask your teacher questions or get help from our tutors.

    5. Form a study group.

    There’s nothing like peer pressure to keep you motivated to study. Make a plan with friends to review the class material, compare notes, or work through tricky concepts. You’ll benefit from the good study habits and notes of the other members in your study group. if you’re trying to solve a tough math problem, two heads are better than one.

    6. Talk it out.

    Not only is it more fun to study with your friends than studying by yourself, you’ll also learn more. By talking through the facts and formulas with a study partner, you’re thinking about the material more deeply, which means you’ll remember it better later.

    7. Get creative with study aids.

    Now that you know what key concepts from each subject you need to prioritize, find the best way to review and internalize what you predict will be on the final exam. Make flash cards to help you memorize dates and equations. Or come up with a mnemonic device—a system of memorizing facts using a phrase or acronym you’ll definitely remember. For example, using the name Roy G. Biv helps to remember the order of colors in a rainbow.

    8. Study your notes.

    Outline your class notes for daily review. Notes and flashcards are also great for last-minute review the morning of your exam.

    9. Quiz yourself.

    If you’re studying at home, have your mom or dad quiz you on the information you’ve already studied. Students tend to remember the information they’ve been quizzed on better than the information they simply review.

    10. Make sleep a priority.

    While it may be tempting to pull an all-nighter and cram everything in at the last minute, it’s a bad idea. You just add stress, and you won’t retain the information for very long by studying that way. You may even forget some of it by the time the test begins.

    11. Take five.

    Take breaks to improve your concentration when you return to studying: Veg out with an episode of your favorite TV show or play a couple rounds of Wii tennis.

    12. Brain food is real.

    Eat healthy and drink plenty of water to keep your brain firing on all cylinders.

    Still stuck on how to study for finals?

    We can help! Try a session with one of our online tutors. We can walk you through tricky concepts or study strategies—whatever you need, 24/7.

    How to cram for a test

    It’s finals week, and you’re trying to make the most of your study time. You probably know by now that cramming isn’t the best way to learn (or live), but even the best students usually have to hustle at the end of the semester to prepare for a busy line-up of exams.

    Before you hit the books, review these study secrets, which will maximize your cramming efforts and help you stay sane, too.

    Plan Your Attack

    At the beginning of any study session, review exactly what you need to accomplish and set your priorities. How much time do you have? What do you need to study? How and where will you work best? Taking a few minutes to devise a plan will keep you from feeling overwhelmed, plus make sure you won’t forget an essential task or prioritize inappropriately.

    When I sit down for a study session, I make a list of the topics I need to review and how much time each will require. I then create a schedule with 30-minute time slots, which I fill first with the topics that are giving me the most trouble.

    Review Readings

    You won’t be able to re-read your assignments for the semester, but you should go over all of your reading notes. If you didn’t keep good reading notes, find book reviews or secondary sources with summaries of themes and important points.

    Next, if you have time, read the introduction and conclusion of the articles or books you’ll be tested on. It can also be helpful to work with a classmate to review the most important passages and talk through the main arguments.

    When I review readings, I rely on annotations that I made the first time I read to help me skim later. Obviously, annotating is something you have to do before you cram, so it may not help you this week. But, if you didn’t use an annotation method this semester, you should next semester. Careful annotation will help you identity key arguments and supporting points without having to reread the entire text. Here’s a short tutorial on one method for annotating a text.

    Space Out Repetitions

    If you have a lot of information you need to memorize, you’re probably planning to rely on repetition. It’s widely known that repetition aids memory, but what most of us don’t realize is that how we space those repetitions is important, too. We learn better when we space out study repetitions over time, rather than bunching them together.

    What’s more, intervals—or leaving time in between repetitions—are not the most efficient use of study time. Instead, try interleaving. Leave one subject of study, review another, and then come back. You’ll find the best results if you block your study repetitions in a randomized order. For example, if you have three subjects to review, start with the first, then move on to the third, back to the first, on to the second, back to the third, then second. Try not to repeat the pattern so that your brain has to guess what comes next.

    Study in a Similar Context

    Have you ever walked into a familiar room and had an old memory pop up? That happens because contextual information—sights, sounds, smells, and feelings—can affect our ability to recall. In other words, our surroundings often cue memories.

    I like to study in a library or an empty lecture hall since the temperature, sounds, and smells are similar to the exam setting. I begin by taking five minutes to sit quietly and clear my head in order to get into an exam-like state of focus before studying.

    Don’t Skip on Sleep

    Studying is the key to testing success, but what many students fail to appreciate is that sleep is also essential. Sleep deprivation hinders your ability to perform complex cognitive tasks, so, sacrificing a few hours sleep for extra cramming time can actually be counterproductive.

    Even if it means less time spent with your material, make sure you sleep well the night before an exam. Stay away from caffeine, limit naps to 30 minutes, and turn of your mobile devices.

    What other study strategies work for you? Tell us your tips!

    How to cram for a test

    The night before a big test can be stressful for students. Many students wonder how they should be preparing for tomorrow’s test.

    First things first—preparing for a test the night before doesn’t mean waiting until then to start studying. It’s important to make sure you start studying early! Cramming the night before will only leave you stressed and frustrated.

    Knowing how to properly prepare for your test can reduce test anxiety and help you get a better grade. Keep reading to find out what to do the night before a test or exam (and what mistakes to avoid) so you can do your best.

    9 Things To Do The Night Before A Test

    1. Review your study notes

    Use the night before the test for simple revision. You shouldn’t be tackling anything brand new the night before your test. Instead, review the study notes you have created during your study sessions over the past few days.

    Revise topics one by one

    Work your way through your study notes, covering topics one by one. Once you have revised a topic, take a minute to make sure you remember and understand the material. If the answer is no, go back and revise the areas that need an extra refresher.

    Don’t study too late

    Late night cram sessions aren’t a very effective way to study. It may seem like you’re making the most of your time by studying until the last minute, but by not giving your brain a chance to rest you’ll have a harder time remembering the information you studied.

    Eat a good meal

    Giving your mind the brain power it needs is important if you want to do well on your test. That means eating a good meal the night before while you’re doing your final revision of the material. Take time to sit down for a family dinner while you take a break from studying to refuel your brain.

    Prepare for the morning

    Gather all the materials you’ll need for your test the next day. Make sure you have extra pens, pencils, erasers, and any tools you need (like a ruler or calculator). Pack everything into your backpack the night before so you can avoid last minute searching and panic the next morning.

    Give your brain a break

    Take some time before bed to put away your study notes and relax. Read a book, write in a journal, or talk to your family. This will help you wind down before bed, making it easier to get a good night’s sleep so your brain can process the information you spent the evening reviewing.

    Get some exercise

    After spending time reviewing for your test, get some exercise by going outside for a short walk. Getting a little bit of exercise will help reduce any stress you are feeling and recharge your brain.

    Set your alarm so you don’t oversleep the morning of your test. Give yourself some extra time in the morning to eat a good breakfast and get ready for the day without feeling rushed.

    Get a good sleep

    One of the most important things the night before a test is to get a full night’s sleep so your brain can remember what you’ve studied. Make sure you go to bed at a set time so you can wake up on test day feeling refreshed and well-rested.

    Still struggling with study skills? Learn how our study skills tutoring program can help!

    How to cram for a test

    Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

    How to cram for a test

    James Lacy, MLS, is a fact-checker and researcher.

    Psychology exams can be stress-inducing, but there is no need to panic as test day approaches. While there are no sure-fire shortcuts when studying for a psychology test, there are things that you can do to get the most out of your study time.

    Preparation is always the key to doing well on any exam, so by starting early and making the most of the time and resources that are available, you will feel better able to tackle the test and less likely to experience test anxiety. By following these relatively simple strategies, you can be sure that you’ll be ready when test day arrives.

    Start Studying Early

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    Hero Images / Getty Images

    Don’t wait until the night before an exam to start hitting the books. From the very first day of class, establish a regular study schedule.   Plan to spend at least one hour studying for every hour that you spend in class, but be prepared to set aside more time as you delve deeper into the subject.

    It is also important to consider your own abilities, weaknesses, and the subject-matter at hand when creating a study schedule. There might be certain areas where you excel that require less focused attention, while other areas might be much more of a struggle.

    Devise a study schedule that allows you to review all of the information covered in class and still spend extra time on those particularly difficult concepts.

    Become an Active Listener

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    Kristian Sekulic / Getty Images

    Class lectures are not a time to kick back and let the instructor drone on. Instead, focus on becoming an active listener and participant in psychology lectures and discussions. Read the assigned textbook material before each class session and make note of any questions you may have.

    During the lecture, take quality psychology notes that you can review later.   Don’t worry about writing down everything that the instructor says, but do try to outline major topics, ideas, and questions.

    Also remember, if the lecturer feels that something is important enough to write down on the board or overhead slide, then you should definitely include it in your lecture notes.

    There is a very strong probability that the information will end up appearing on your next test.

    The average pre-dental student may spend over 200 hours preparing for the DAT across several months, but what happens if you realize that your test date is a month away and you haven’t started your study plan yet? Studying for the DAT in one month is a challenging task, but if you already have a very strong science and math foundation and are able to devote a significant amount of study time per week, then you may still be able to earn the score you need by following this week-by-week plan.
    Before you get started, you’ll need to gather together your study materials. Here is our recommended list:

    ADA’s DAT Program Guide

    Reviewing the official guide is a required step before registering for the DAT, but it’s full of helpful information about test logistics, content, and timing so is a great place to start regardless

    ADA’s DAT Sample Test Items

    This PDF from the ADA contains released questions from previous DAT administrations. These items were taken from older, pencil-and-paper-based DAT tests, and the formatting and specific content tested have been updated since then, but this is still a great resource for getting familiar with the test and the way questions are asked.

    ADA’s DAT Practice Test (Web-based format)

    The ADA offers one online practice test for purchase through Prometric. Like the Sample Items, this test is composed of questions released from previous administrations of the DAT. However, this test is only accessible once and cannot be reviewed later. Additionally, your results will only include raw scores (numbers correct) and not scaled scores or percentiles.

    Kaplan’s DAT 2021-2022 Strategies, Practice, and Review

    With Kaplan’s DAT book, you not only get the printed resources that cover the subject matter from all the test sections but also access to two full-length practice tests online. It’s worth getting the book for these tests alone since they provide realistic practice that includes scaled scores and percentiles for each section as well as detailed explanations for every question.

    Online calendar

    An online calendar can be a great tool for keeping track of and accessing your personal study plan from almost any location. Plus, you can share your calendar with others so they know your schedule and can help you stay on track.

    Online DAT flashcards

    When you only have a few minutes to study, a set of flashcards can be a great tool. You can make your cards or use an existing set made by a fellow test taker. Additionally, if you purchase the Kaplan book above, you’ll also be able to use the tear-out study sheets from the back that contain all the most important equations and facts for studying on the go.

    DAT Study Schedule: Week 1

    • Start by taking a practice test or question set that covers all the topics from the DAT to familiarize yourself with the test and establish your baseline performance. The DAT Sample Test Items from the ADA is a great resource for this.
    • Use your initial test results to determine which content areas you need to work on both. Modifying the study plan below accordingly. For example, if you did well on all molecular biology questions, you might only study those topics briefly and spend more time on a Biology subject you didn’t do as well with, such as anatomy and physiology.
    • Fill in your calendar with study blocks, planning to study at minimum for three hours per day, six days per week. Leave one day off from studying per week so you have time to recharge.
    • Devote one full day this week to each of Perceptual Ability, Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Quantitative Reasoning.
      • PAT: learn the rules of each subtest and the strategies you will use for each
      • Bio: cell and molecular biology
      • Gen Chem: atomic and molecular structure, periodic trends, and stoichiometry. Use stoichiometry questions to practice Quant. strategies as well.
      • Orgo: nomenclature, stereochemistry, and aromaticity and bonding
      • Quant: numerical calculations, algebra, and conversions

    How to cram for a test

    Is Longer Better?

    Let’s consider two typical college students. Mary feels passionate about getting an “A” on the next economics test. So for one week solid, she studies in three hour increments. She scarcely takes a break during these marathon study sessions. Yet, to her exasperation, she still only manages to get a C+.

    Rodney is in the same economics class. He has spent the past four weeks studying class material, about 45 minutes a day, in 20 minute chunks, separated by a five minute break. To some people’s amazement, he gets A-Pluses regularly, and he did so on the economics test.

    So what made the difference? Shouldn’t that A-Plus belong to Mary? Not at all. Because Rodney learned to master his study time better than Mary did. He learned that: a) Effective time management (studying over a long period of time instead of just a night or two before the test) is better than cramming; and b) the brain is not as effective in retaining knowledge after a certain amount of time–usually 20 to 50 minutes at a time. With all of that said, here are four time management tips that will make you a more effective and efficient studier.

    Audio Version of this Post

    Tips for Managing your Time and Study Sessions

    How to cram for a test

    Start by understanding how much you should be studying each week.

    If you’re in junior high or high school, or studying for a high school entrance exam like the HSPT, there’s a good rule thumb that goes like this: Study the same number of hours per week as your current grade level. Seventh-graders study seven hours a week; 10th graders study 10 hours, and so on. Once you know this, you can divide these hours by the number of days you plan to study. If you’re a 10th grader and you only want to study five days a week, that means you should plan two hours of study each day.

    If you’re in college, the rule of thumb is a bit different.

    The traditional rule says that you should study two hours for every hour that your class meets. In reality, every student has easy courses that require much less study time. Still, for the difficult classes, the two-for-one ratio is a good idea.

    Here’s a familiar scenario. It’s the day before a big calculus exam, and you haven’t studied for whatever reason (short on time, too many other exams packed into the same day, etc.). Around 10 p.m., you finally sit down to review the calculus materials. Six hours later, you catch a short “nap” before rushing to school. You take the exam, and it seems to go fine. Although it wasn’t your best effort, you pass and promise not to repeat the cycle when it’s time for your next one.

    This is what’s known as cramming. And while students, parents and educators have long known it’s not ideal, in desperate circumstances, it works to some degree. And by some degree, we mean it might save your GPA. But cramming doesn’t provide long-term learning, according to Dr. Robert A. Bjork, distinguished research professor in the department of psychology at UCLA where he focuses on how we learn versus how we think we learn. (Spoiler: We are usually wrong.)

    “[Cramming] can have pretty dramatic effects on the exam,” Bjork says. “It will work in the sense of performance on an exam administered right at the end of cramming. [Students] get an impression that it really works, but it just works on the short term. It’s accompanied with a dramatic forgetting rate after that.” This is especially problematic when one lesson provides foundational information for the next, like in a math or language class.

    Forgetting most of what you learned is not the only downside to cramming. Researchers have found that losing sleep while pulling an all-nighter also leads to residual academic problems for days after the cramming session. You can imagine the negative effects of an ongoing cycle of procrastination and cramming.

    Spaced-out Learning

    More than a century of research shows that if you study something twice, retention goes up, Bjork explains. Studying and then waiting before you study more produces even better long-term memory. This is called the spacing effect.

    “It’s often something students don’t understand,” Bjork says. Rather than reviewing material right away, students benefit from spacing out their study sessions. There are many arguments about why spacing works better for long-term retention. One relates to encoding.

    When a student studies something from a book and reviews it immediately, the student will encode the information in the same way, Bjork explains. However, the more ways students can encode information, the better they will understand it and the longer they will know it. This means that even studying the same material in two locations can help them encode it in different ways; therefore they learn it more successfully.

    Another idea is that the harder it is for our brain to recall something, the more powerful the effects of that recall will be for long-term learning. For example, if you are at a meeting and encounter someone new, you might recall their name immediately, which probably won’t help you remember it the next day. However, if you need to recall the person’s name an hour into the meeting and do so, you’ll have a better chance of remembering it a day or a week later because you had to put in effort to recall it.

    A third reason why spacing works is that people pay less attention to the second presentation of material they have just seen because the information is already familiar. When the material is spaced out, it’s no longer as familiar, so people pay more attention.

    Dr. Will Thalheimer, founder of Work-Learning Research, which focuses on research-based innovations in learning evaluations, explains that when it comes to learning, presenting material more than once is beneficial, but doing it over time is even better and “facilitates long-term remembering.” And while spacing may slow the learning process because you’ll be studying for more than one evening, it significantly reduces forgetting.

    However, many students continue to opt for cramming and believe in its efficacy.

    A 2009 study by UCLA’s Dr. Nate Kornell found that spacing was more effective than cramming for 90 percent of the participants; just 6 percent of those who crammed learned more than those who studied using the spacing effect. In three experiments, researchers tested spacing against cramming, yet despite the findings in favor of spacing, participants believed that the cramming style was more effective.

    Mixing It Up

    If the spacing effect sounds like a lot of waiting around to review material, recent studies have shown the positive effects of mixing up different material while studying. This concept, called interleaving, consists of working on or studying one skill for a short period of time, then switching to another one, then maybe a third, then back to the first.

    A 2015 study tested interleaving in nine middle school classrooms teaching algebra and geometry. A day after the lesson for the unit was complete, the students trained with interleaving scored 25 percent better than students who received standard instruction. A month later, the interleaving group was up 76 percent.

    This is great news. Studying for an exam or completing a big project doesn’t need to feel so daunting, and interleaving has benefits for writing, too. Rather than trying to block out two hours to study for a math test, study math for 30 minutes before you move to French and then work on an essay. Go back to math later.

    “That produces substantially longer and better retention,” Bjork says. “It has a lot of implications that we are exploring.”

    There is a message here for teachers as well as students. Instead of teaching a topic in a block and going to the next topic, teachers can spend a short time on a topic, go on to others then return to the earlier topics.

    “There is a lot to learn about how to learn,” says Bjork. “People’s intuitions are not the best guide.”

    A 2012 UCLA study from professor of psychiatry Andrew J. Fuligni and UCLA graduate student Cari Gillen-O’Neel found that staying up and foregoing sleep to study is actually counterproductive. No matter how much a student studies daily, if they sacrifice sleep in order to study more, they’re likely to have more academic problems — not less — the next day.

    Find Your Dream School

    COVID-19 Update: To help students through this crisis, The Princeton Review will continue our “Enroll with Confidence” refund policies. For full details, please click here.

    You can’t cram for the GRE test. By and large, the exam is a test of patterns, not facts, so if you want to raise your GRE score, you will need sufficient time to practice. We suggest you devote between 4 and 12 weeks to GRE preparation.

    How to cram for a test

    1. Find your baseline

    Your baseline score is the score you would receive if you took the GRE today. Before you make a study plan, take a full-length GRE practice test under the same testing environment as the real thing. The results will guide your prep by showing you which content areas you need to focus on the most.

    2. Determine your target GRE score

    You’ve probably started making a list of the graduate programs that interest you. Compare your practice test score against the average GRE scores of the most recent incoming class to each program (find this information on the school website or in our grad school profiles). Your target score is one that would put you at or above the average for the schools on your wishlist.

    3. Make a plan to close the gap

    Whether you choose a prep course, online program, or a test prep book, you need a smart prep plan that will hold you accountable and give you the results you need. With a little research you’ll find the right environment for you.

    4. Practice for technique

    Focus on how you approach each question while taking practice tests and drills. If you focus on just the results, you do nothing more than reinforce the way you are taking the test right now. The techniques you use and the way you solve a problem are what help you get better at taking the GRE.

    5. Mimic real GRE conditions

    Paper-and-pencil tests can help you practice concepts and test-taking strategies, but they do not adapt to your performance like the real GRE. Make sure you budget online practice into your study schedule to help prepare you for the computer-based test experience.

    6. Review your results

    Always review your performance after taking GRE practice exams. What kinds of questions do you consistently miss? What question types do you tend to ace, and which ones slow you down?

    This is where access to a GRE tutor can really give you a leg up. Test prep is only partly about mastering content—it’s also about your pacing and test-taking skills. To be completely prepared, sit down with a coach to review your performance on practice exams and make a smart plan to meet your GRE score goal.

    7. Build up your GRE vocabulary

    Vocab is still an important part of the GRE Verbal sections. You can absorb many of the words that will show up on the GRE by reading respected publications such as academic journals or some of the more highbrow newspapers and magazines. When you come across new words on practice tests or practice problems, add them to your list. They have been used before on the GRE and they may very well be used again. Check out our GRE Power Vocab book for lists and drills.

    8. Practice with and without a calculator

    A calculator is provided for you on the GRE as part of the on-screen display, and can be a huge advantage if used correctly! But the calculator can also be a liability. Figure out when using a calculator makes you more accurate, and when you’re better off learning the rules of a key math concept.

    How will you score?

    Take a GRE practice test with us under realistic testing conditions. You’ll get a personalized score report highlighting your strengths and areas of improvement.

    One of the first questions our students often ask when starting to plan for Test Day is, “How long should I study for the GRE?” We usually see the anticipation in their eyes, as they’re perhaps hoping for an answer like, “Well, are you busy right now? The next fifteen minutes or so ought to do it.”

    Stay on Top of Testing Updates

    ETS has made testing updates in response to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Learn more.

    Scheduling time to study for the GRE

    Everybody’s prep needs are different

    5 Tips for More Productive GRE Studying

    Study to ambient music.

    Like movie scores or video game soundtracks. They’re designed to set the mood but not distract from the task at hand. Listening to your favorite tunes, on the other hand, releases dopamine, which can distract you.

    Take frequent short breaks and intermittent longer breaks.

    You should know by now that you can’t cram for the GRE and that the, “I will study for 12 hours a day, seven days a week” strategy is not what we consider a “good” GRE hack for a great GRE score. Avoid fatigue, frustration, and that dreaded moment when you realize you’ve read the same passage six times … and not retained a thing.

    Take a nap.

    It’s true: there is real science behind this GRE hack. Giving your brain a break can enhance retention and productivity. Relax, breathe, and give in to the sandman. Then, back to work.

    Know your productivity black holes and how to avoid them.

    Are you harboring the best of intentions, but simply can’t boot yourself off Facebook? There are apps and browser extensions that will allow you block access to certain websites or the Internet completely if you’re having trouble staying focused. Disable push notifications on your phone or set it on airplane mode.

    Find a way to make test content relate to something you enjoy

    Such as working on probabilities while playing blackjack or learning your GRE vocabulary from Sherlock Holmes or Game of Thrones. You’ll be more inclined to remember these concepts if you can relate them to vivid experiences, and learning them won’t seem like such a chore.

    How to cram for a testMemorising textbooks is an outdated form of study. You could spend days on end trying to cram it all in but the results will not be very promising.

    Thankfully, there are much more fun and rewarding study techniques that can help you learn how to study well and improve your exam results. Here are some of those study techniques:

    10 Study Tips to Improve Your Learning

    Study Tip 1: Underlining

    Underlining is one of the simplest and best known study tips. It’s easy to highlight the most significant parts of what you’re reading. Ideally you should do a comprehensive read of a text before you even consider underlining anything. Only on the second reading should you proceed to underline the most notable aspects.

    The act of underlining something means you are engaging with certain key aspects of the text. There is no need to go crazy and highlight entire blocks of text. You should highlight one key sentence per paragraph and a few important phrases here and there. You can only retain a certain amount so it’s best to retain the most important information.

    Study Tip 2: Make Your Own Study Notes

    Taking Notes is one of the most widespread study skills out there. Essentially the aim of note-taking is to summarise lectures or articles in your own words so you can easily remember the ideas. In most cases, the key is to be able to summarise the content as quickly as possible while not leaving out any key info.

    When creating Notes, you can do it the traditional way with the good ol’ pen and paper or you can utilise online tools, such as GoConqr’s Notes feature.

    Study Tip 3: Mind Mapping

    A good Mind Map can save you many hours of study and further consolidate your knowledge for your exams. Mind Maps are an extremely versatile tools. They can be used for brainstorming, outlining essays or study topics and for general exam preparation.

    GoConqr offers the ability to create Mind Maps quickly and easily which makes them the ideal tool when it comes to exams.

    Study Tip 4: Flashcards

    Using Flashcards is a particularly effective method of learning when trying to assimilate different facts, dates, formulas or vocabulary. Subjects such as History, Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Geography or any language are made much easier if you incorporate Flashcards in to your study.

    Using Flashcards for memorising can become a fun process unlike a lot of other study tools. On top of this, online Flashcards allow you to save a lot of work and time in actually creating your Flashcard decks. What’s more is that they are always readily available online so you have access to them 24/7.

    Study Tip 5: Case Studies

    Sometimes it can be difficult to grasp the implications of some theories. This is where studying case studies can be a big help. Case studies can help you visualise a theory and place it in a more familiar and realistic context. This is especially useful in business or law subjects.

    It’s always of great benefit to examine practical cases studies to accompany your study of pure theory. In this way you can better understand the application of the theory and what it’s thesis actually states.

    Study Tip 6: Quizzes

    Quizzes are an excellent way to review study notes in the weeks and days before an exam. Quizzes can show where your strengths and weaknesses are, so it allows you to focus your efforts more precisely. Moreover, if you share your Study Quiz with your classmates and test each other as much as possible you can discover even more details and areas you may have overlooked. So before any exam, make sure you create and share a bunch of different Quizzes with your Friends.

    Study Tip 7: Brainstorming

    This is another study technique that is ideal for studying with friends and/or classmates. Brainstorming is a great way to expand every possible idea out of any topic. Just get a bunch of friends together and shoot the breeze, there are no wrong answers when brainstorming – just talk and capture the ideas, you can review afterward.

    Some ideas that sounded great before will be ruled out straight away afterwards while others that sounded crazy before will be seen to have great promise. Using Mind Maps is an ideal way of capturing all this info as it mirrors the explosive nature of your thought processes.

    Study Tip 8: Mnemonic Rules

    Mnemonics are especially useful when memorising lists and sets. Mnemonics rules basically work by associating certain concepts with other concepts that are more familiar to us. There are many different ways to make mnemonics and these can be individual to the person.

    A classic example is ‘Richard of York Gave Battle In Vain’. This Mnemonic rule is for remember the primary colours : Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet.

    Study Tip 9: Organising Your Study

    One of the most effective study skills is also one of the most often overlooked; this is organising your study. Creating a study timetable gives you goals and a time in which to achieve them. Having a study timetable as you study is greatly motivational. GoConqr has a free Study Planner tool which makes organising your study extremely easy.

    How to cram for a test

    Study Tip 10: Drawing

    Many people find it easier to recall images rather than text, that is why they are better able to memorise concepts if they associate them with pictures or drawings. That is why GoConqr’s tools allow you to add images. GoConqr’s tools are geared towards helping different types of learners as visual learning is often overlooked in classrooms, which are more text or aural based.

    Many of these study tips & techniques are not new but are well known to students. However, what is new is the way in which you can now utilise them . Today new technologies have changed how we can interact with these study techniques. So it makes sense to reassess how you use these techniques and see what new tools and techniques you can incorporate into your study.

    About the GoConqr Blog

    Our blog is part of GoConqr, a Free Learning Platform for Creating, Sharing & Discovering Learning Resources that help students and teachers achieve their learning objectives. Click here to start creating Mind Maps, Flashcards, Notes, Quizzes, Slides Flowcharts & Courses now!

    How to cram for a test

    How to Pass a CLEP Test

    SpeedyPrep has become an industry leader for CLEP study guides and test prep materials—we’re passionate about giving people the tools they need to learn more effectively, save time and money, and graduate faster.

    In the next two blogs, we’ll break down everything you need to pass a CLEP test—it’s easier than you might think. Follow this advice, and you could save thousands of dollars and shave semesters off of your college career!

    Take a CLEP practice test.

    Sometimes, the best way to set yourself up for test success is to gain an understanding the test format. That’s why taking CLEP practice tests is an effective way to prepare for the real thing. You’ll get a better idea of the thought processes and methods behind CLEP questions, and you’ll gain perspective on how prepared you really are for the CLEP test ahead of you. It’s great to learn what you know—but it’s discovering what you don’t know that will improve your CLEP exam scores. If you’re going to be successful in the academic world, you must have an awareness and understanding of your weaknesses and lapses in knowledge, and there’s no better way to find what those weaknesses are than by getting a bunch of questions wrong on a practice test.

    How to cram for a testRemember that C’s (and D’s) get degrees.

    CLEP exams have no effect on your grade point average—all they do is allow you to receive course credit. That means any passing grade on a CLEP test earns you the same amount of college credit—no matter if you get a “C” or an “A” on the exam. (There’s one exception to this rule, as certain foreign language CLEP tests will offer more credit for higher scores.)

    Don’t get too excited here—we didn’t just hand you a get-out-of-studying card. You will need to check with your school to see if they have a minimum score requirement for your exam. 50 is considered a passing score, but your school might require, say, a 54. If there is a higher requirement, you can plan your preparation accordingly. If you get the standard passing score, or the score required by your school, you will get college credit. The score itself will not affect your GPA—which will probably make you feel a little less stressed when test time comes around.

    Check out the CLEP exam outline.

    When taking any test, it’s important to figure out what kinds of concepts will be covered so you can study efficiently and be adequately equipped to pass the test. This is easier for some tests than others—but with CLEP, it’s fairly simple. All concepts in CLEP exams are the same as what would be covered in a normal college course—so flipping through the textbook of the course that coincides with your CLEP exam would be a good place to figure out what will be covered on the test. The College Board website has outlines for each exam which you can review and you will see how the content of textbooks correlates to the outline.

    CLEP prep guides from SpeedyPrep are another great way to get a basic outline of your CLEP exam. SpeedyPrep study guides are designed to help you learn information that will be on the exam, and are tailored to your learning needs so you can learn faster and more effectively than ever before. Get started with SpeedyPrep today!

    Stay tuned for part 2 of our blog on passing CLEP tests, and until then, check out our other educational blogs!


    I would like to know how to get a study guide for algebra 1 and take the text.

    Just go to and purchase a subscription. Then schedule your exam at a local college. This link will help you find colleges near you:

    I need to excel been out of nursing school for sometime and need to take clep exams to get me back on track since can’t use all of my courses.

    Studying for the SAT in a month is possible, though it’s recommended that you spend 10 to 20 hours per week over the course of two or three months prepping for the SAT. But if you only have 30 days, here’s how you can get it done.

    SAT Study Calendar

    Before you actually start, you’ll want to get organized. With just one month until your SAT test date, create a study calendar. You should be realistic when planning your studying, taking into account all of your other obligations, including homework, extracurricular activities, travel time, etc.

    A study calendar will make the daunting task of prepping for the SAT more manageable. Building an entire calendar before you start your prep will help keep you accountable. You’ll be able to make space for your SAT prep ahead of time, and you’ll know exactly what to study each day.

    There are four sections on the SAT: reading , writing , math without a calculator . There is also an optional essay (most students choose to complete it).

    You’ll want to make sure that you budget time in your study calendar to prep for each section of the SAT every week, and also to take and review a practice test.

    SAT Sample 1 Week Study Schedule

    There is flexibility in how you lay out your personal study calendar, especially if you want to spread your studying over 6 days (taking at least one day off a week is a good idea to give your brain some time to rest, process, and recharge). You should always take your practice tests in a single sitting—that’ll probably be your longest day of studying each week (3 hours).

    If you want to fit in a week’s work of studying in 4 days, you might consider reviewing your practice test and working on Writing & Language Prep in the same day. However you decide to use your time, build out your entire month’s calendar at the onset. Once your study calendar is done, you’re ready to begin.

    SAT 1 Month Study Plan: Week 1

    Use the results of your first practice test to identify where your greatest areas of opportunity are. For example, if you got most Math questions with Exponents wrong, you’ll want to flag that topic for a foundational concept review. On the other hand, if you got most Geometry questions correct, you shouldn’t spend too much time reviewing concepts, but focus instead on studying test-taking strategies to make you more efficient on those question types.

    What To Study During Week 1

    • Step 1: Take and score a full-length SAT practice test in a single sitting.
    • Step 2 : Review your practice test, identifying your areas of opportunity. Reviewing the test should take at least as long as it took to take it. Start with the questions you got wrong first to identify where you went wrong (Do you need to brush up on the concept? Did you make a calculation error in your scratchwork?). Then, review the questions that you got right. Compare how you got the answer to the explanation provided to see if there was room for you to be more efficient in getting to the right answer.
    • Step 3: Study for each section of the test, reviewing/learning foundational concepts as needed, doing practice sets, and reviewing each question.

    SAT 1 Month Study Plan: Week 2

    What To Study During Week 2

    • Step 1: Take and score a full-length SAT practice test in a single setting.
    • Step 2: Review your practice test.
    • Step 3 : Study for each section of the test following your study calendar.

    SAT 1 Month Study Plan: Week 3

    What To Study During Week 3

    • Step 1: Take and score a full-length SAT practice test in a single setting.
    • Step 2: Review your practice test.
    • Step 3 : Study for each section of the test following your study calendar.

    Practice SAT Vocabulary Words

    SAT 1 Month Study Plan: Week 4

    If your practice test results show broad concepts that you are still missing (e.g., you get nearly all Functions questions wrong on the Math section, this isn’t the time to learn how functions work. You’re unlikely to master the concept in such a short amount of time so you’re better off working to perfect a concept in which you are more firm (question types you are getting right at least 50% of the time).

    What To Study During Week 4

    • Step 1: Take and score a full-length SAT practice test in a single sitting.
    • Step 2: Review your practice test.
    • Step 3: Study for each section of the test, focusing on topics that you have not yet mastered, but are getting right at least 50% of the time. Spend time reviewing any test-taking methods or strategies you’ve learned over the course of the past month for each section.
    • Step 4: Give yourself some downtime. Make sure to block off the day or two before Test Day and to resist all urges to study more. For the day of the test, don’t change up your routine—go to bed when you usually would to wake up in time for the test, eat the breakfast you usually eat, etc.
    • Step 5: Crush the SAT!