Got a big test coming up? And want to ensure you’ll succeed? Discover 7 must-know exam tips to excel on any test now.

Each year, nearly two million students take the SAT, and a further two million take the ACT as preparation for college admissions.

Of course, this isn’t the only important test you’ll take in your life. You may be reading this article for tips for an exam as part of a high school or college course, or the GRE, MCAT, LSAT or any other high stakes entrance exam. Or, you may be taking a test to gain a certification or qualification in your field.

Knowing the test is coming and how it could impact your future can be anxiety-inducing. But if you’re armed with these exam tips, you’ll feel much more prepared.

Read on for more.

1. Choose the Test or Program That Fits Your Learning Style, If You Can

Let’s face it: not everyone is great at exams. Some people are better on certain parts of exams than others or certain types of exams than others. You may also find some courses within the field you wish to qualify in have different examinations or requirements.

For example, you may discuss with a tutor whether you’ll be better at the ACT or SAT for college entrance exams. Or, you may study the contents of the exams and figure out which one might be better suited to show your strengths.

Similarly, if you wish to earn a qualification in finance, you may wish to look at the FRM vs CAIA, and which you’ll be a better fit for.

Don’t set yourself up to fail by signing up to take an exam you know won’t showcase your strengths.

However, unfortunately, this tip isn’t necessarily useful if you need to take an exam to pass a required course to move forward. Sometimes, you can’t opt-out of exams or courses. In that case, you can move on to some of the other tips below.

2. Make Time in Your Schedule to Study

Don’t assume you’ll study at a certain point in the day or assume you’ll study once you get home from school or work. For many people, this just doesn’t work out. You may find yourself tired or burned out and want to put off studying for the following day.

Be realistic about when you can study, and set aside time in your schedule for it. If you have a free Saturday, for example, schedule in a couple of hours of studying. This way, you’ll make plans around when you study, instead of the other way around.


3. Join a Study Group

Chances are, you’re not the only person taking the test you’re about to take. So don’t go at it alone and get overwhelmed. Instead, study with a group of people who are all interested in succeeding.

You can make the time together more fun by bringing snacks and music, but be sure to buckle down instead of spending too much time having fun. Always pick a group of people who are also invested in their own success, not those who want to slack or want to come along “for fun.”

4. Minimize Distractions

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram.Netflix.YouTube.

There are so many distractions right at your fingertips. So how do you stay away from them and keep your mind on your task at hand?

Plan strategic breaks, where you can look at those sites every so often. You can say you’ll study for 30-45 minutes straight, and then give yourself a 15-30 minute break where you can browse the Internet, text with a friend or grab some coffee.

If you don’t need the Internet to study, turn off your computer and put your phone on silent until your designated break times. If you struggle with that, you can try a few Internet blockers that will keep you on task.

These blockers, which are often free Chrome extensions, allow you to block certain websites for a set period of time. In some cases, you can still use academic websites, but it will ensure you don’t touch social media until your designated break.

If you study in a group and everyone’s brought their laptops, make sure everyone else is on the same page when it comes to turning off their Internet and focusing.

5. Study Somewhere Away from People Who Could Be Distracting

You may find it impossible to study when your partner is home. Or, your parents may drive you nuts with their favorite TV show that you can hear in your room at night.

Try and study somewhere that is distraction-free. We recognize this isn’t an option for everyone, especially since some people have children they have to take care of. But, make sure you spend at least a couple of study sessions kid-free. Try to go to a library, a coffee shop, or somewhere where the distraction is minimal.

This way, you’ll focus on your task, and not what other people need, or what other people are doing.

More Exam Tips

These are just a few of our top exam tips. There are plenty more ways to ensure that your ace your exam, including identifying your learning style, using mnemonics and working on your memory.

Above all, ensure that you choose the strategy that works best for you. If someone insists a certain way is better that you can’t comprehend, don’t worry about it. We’re all different in the way we absorb information, and you need to work with the way you do.

For more lifestyle content, including more exam tips, check out the rest of our site.

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