Preparing for college entrance exams can feel overwhelming and intimidating. You may feel like you don’t have enough time to study effectively, or worry that you will never remember all the necessary information.
Fortunately, there are some easy study habits that can help you ace your college entrance exams. By making an effort to incorporate them into your study plans, you will increase your chances of acing your exams. Read on to discover 15 surefire study habits that can help you conquer your college entrance exams.
1. Develop a Strategic Study Schedule
Having an organized and well-thought-out study schedule is the best way to make sure you stay on top of the material. Start by writing down all your college entrance exams and their respective deadlines, and assign study blocks for each.
Also, remember to include a few days off into your schedule for relaxation or a change of pace. This will help break up the long segments of studying and make learning more enjoyable. Additionally, create a to-do list for each day to make sure all the material gets covered and you’re not scrambling at the last minute.
2. Utilize Your Tools
Take advantage of all the tools at your disposal when studying. Research which textbooks are best for each subject, mark up them difficult passages, and use a dictionary if any unfamiliar words arise. Also, utilize online or app-based tools to prepare for your exams.
Flash cards and quizzes are both useful ways to memorize and review the material. Furthermore, if you’re struggling to understand a certain concept, find a tutorial video that explains it in further detail; this may help you gain a better understanding of the material.
3. Adopt Active Learning
Reading and highlighting material is a common studying technique, but it is not the only way to learn. To really ace your college entrance exams, you should adopt active learning. Doing practice problems for each subject can help you test your understanding and better retain the information.
Additionally, writing out information on cue cards and revisiting them later will help commit the material to memory. Finally, explain the material out loud in order to practice articulating and work through any confusion or misconceptions.
4. Set Break Times
Studying for an extensive amount of time can be draining and dull. To combat this, make sure you take regular breaks when studying. During these breaks, take a walk around the house, listen to a podcast, or call a friend. This will help you refocus and have a more productive session afterwards. Also, make sure to get a good night’s sleep before your exams; this will help you focus the day of and remember what you’ve studied.
5. Study with a Friend
Not only is studying with a friend more enjoyable, but it can also help make you a better student. You and your friend can collectively come up with tactics to remember the material and strategize ways to ace the exams.
Your friend can quiz you on topics or help you when you are struggling to understand a certain subject. You and your friend can study effectively by scheduling meetings, taking breaks together, or by setting milestones to celebrate throughout the process.
6. Form a Group
Studying with a small group of peers can be even more beneficial than studying with a friend. Not only can the members of the group help review each other, but they may also add their own tips to help better understand the material.
The group dynamic can help stimulate productive conversations on the material and lead to creative ways to study. Furthermore, more opinions gleaned from the group can help prevent any confusion and bring clarity to topics.
7. Check Solutions
Whether it is a practice problem set or a past exam you recently took, review the solutions to make sure you understood it correctly. This will tell you what you did wrong and what you should review in the future. Carefully considering the solutions can help you understand the material to a deeper level and make sure you remember what you’ve studied.
An effective way to master the material is to imagine how it would apply in the real world. Allowing yourself to be creative and draw connections between the material and a practical example can make it easier to remember.
Creating diagrams or charts to map out relationships between various topics is also a useful memory aid. These methods are a great way to supplement other forms of studying to help you understand and retain the material.
9. Reflect on your Errors
Acknowledging and learning from your mistakes is crucial to improving your scores on college entrance exams. To do this, whenever you make a mistake in practice tests, equations, or answers to questions, reflect on it and think why it happened. Was the question too difficult? Did you forget one of the steps? Doing this will help you identify weak points in your studying and allow you to address them before the real exam.
10. Research Different Exam Types
Many college entrance exams are tailored to particular universities and have different forms of assessment. To properly prepare, you should research the type of exam you’re taking to better understand how it is constructed and what topics are covered. Furthermore, many universities make past exam papers available, so it may be wise to use these to practice and become familiar with the format of the exam.
11. Learn Time Management
Often, college entrance exams will be timed, or have a heavy emphasis on time management; therefore, understanding how to manage your time during these exams is key to success. During practice sessions, set a timer for a certain duration of time and complete as many questions as you can in that period.
This will make you more aware of pacing yourself and how to prioritize between various problems. Also, if you are stumped on a question you can skip it during timed practice session, so you can have time to answer other easier questions.
12. Manage Anxiety
Anxiety and tension can arise before or during an exam— particularly if you’re unprepared. To prevent this, become familiar with the test format, both inside and out. This will help cushion the shock of taking an unfamiliar test and make it less intimidating. Practice relaxation techniques; this will teach you how to properly manage stress and give you techniques you can use before a real exam.
13. Test Your Knowledge
It’s important to continuously measure your progress as you study. Taking practice tests is a great way to assess if you have a complete understanding of the material and where you need to focus your studies. Actively discussing the material will help you articulate the concepts, making it easier to comprehend and remember. Finally, if you have trouble in one particular area, concentrate on it before the real exam day.
14. Teach Yourself
Most of the time, information is easier to retain when you’re the one teaching it. Asking yourself questions and teaching yourself the material can help you make sure your knowledge is thorough. This will also help you discover any gaps in your understanding, so you can spend more time focusing on those topics.
15. Stay Confident
Confidence is key when walking into an exam. Believe in yourself and your ability to answer the questions correctly. Confidence will help keep your head up and motivate you when you feel overwhelmed or challenged. So, give yourself a reminder that you’re completely capable of acing your exams, and you will be more likely to approach them confidently.
Preparing for college entrance exams can be tough, but with the right study habits, you can easily rock the exams. Use this list as framework for your study tactics and make an effort to incorporate them into your routine. Make sure to develop a strategic study schedule, use all the tools at your disposal, and actively learn with peers or a group.
Don’t forget to manage your anxiety, test your knowledge, and confidently approach the exam day with your newfound knowledge. With these 15 surefire study habits, you’re sure to ace your college entrance exams.