Five Study Tips to Ace that Big Test


Eloy Kim, Junior Staff Writer

For high school students, upcoming tests can be the bane of their existence. For many of these students, anxiety and stress is already banging at their back door. Some choose to bravely face this challenge head-on. Others would simply ignore the insistence of those bangs. 

Admittedly, the latter is most of us. Just hearing the word study is enough to make one groan out loud. Indeed, the need for more effective ways of studying is crucial. A grade on a math final, for example, can have a huge outcome on one’s GPA. Of course, getting that A+ is a goal many strive for, but studying in smarter ways doesn’t just increase the percentage and letter grade at the corner of a page. A good work ethic, along with a sense of satisfaction can be gained as well. With that being said, here’s a list of five studying tips compiled by yours truly!

  1. Set your Plans EarlyIt’s always best to lay down your foundation as soon as possible. Students often put in the work too late, especially when the test date is placed in the distant future. But when the test date is within days, it can lead to unnecessary stress and panic. As soon as you find out about the test, mark down the date, and set up your study plan.
  2. Organization is Key:  This is where organization comes in. Chances are, the test you are about to study for covers a lot of material. Sophomore Jeffrey Hazy certainly agrees with this. “One challenge I face as a student is knowing exactly what to study for a big test,” he says. Creating a broad outline for all the possible material on the test wouldn’t be a bad idea. From this outline, you can clearly see what you need to get inside your head, and then study accordingly. You should then divide your material to what best suits you. For example, dividing material into divider tabs can give you a structure to build off of. Organization not only makes studying easier, but it will also save you a lot of time.   
  3. Choose your Study Environment: One thing not to be underestimated is the environment one works in. It is a commonly known fact that one main reason why it’s so hard for students to study is the distractions that reign among us, especially phones. A single notification from that little rectangle is more than capable of wasting precious hours from one’s life. Here’s some advice: power off your phone only when you study. The physical surroundings also play a big factor. Libraries in Youngstown such as the Maag library or even the Hubbard Public Library usually have some quiet places. Placing yourself in these quiet, distraction deficient places can help your focus monumentally.
  4. Explain the Concepts: Albert Einstein once said: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” The same absolutely holds for our purposes. There are some students who can get away with simply memorizing all the possible answers, but this is counterproductive. An article on Oliveboard couldn’t have said it any better: “…conceptual understanding is much better than mere memorization; as it helps you gain knowledge, perspective and grow. Understanding concepts will also help you apply that knowledge to real world situations.”   
  5. Review Daily and Practice: You’re not going to have all the content mastered in one day. Consistently reviewing your compiled notes, and then practicing it is the key to success. Doing so will help you gradually build a better understanding. This is why it’s always important to give yourself time to study. Admittedly, this can be hard for those people with a busy schedule. Sophomore Nicholas Capuzello is one of these people. “It’s challenging because I’m usually busy with extracurriculars, like football,” he says. This is why managing your time as a student is so important. This may mean one may have to sacrifice some time from doing certain things, but the investment is definitely worth it.

If you follow all these steps, no exam-curve ball will be able to hinder you on test day. Good luck!