Are you looking for new and effective ways to study for tests? Have you gone in to tests thinking you were prepared, but realized you weren’t once the test started? Do you struggle with test anxiety? Do you want to improve your performance on future exams?

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Tests, exams, midterms, and finals are a focus of most students’ studying efforts each term. Many strategies go into strong test preparation and test-taking.  To improve your own test-taking, you can start by learning about how the brain/memory works.  Attending class consistently, making weekly efforts to complete reading and assignments, and creating a strong study plan are all strategies that can help you prepare for an upcoming exam. 

When it comes to test preparation, the best place to start is by analyzing your weekly study habits and making any needed changes.  As the test gets closer, you should organize your time, create a study plan, and use a variety of study methods. The rituals and habits you create for the time leading up to and during the test can help you prepare physically and mentally for an exam, in turn reducing your test anxiety.  Once you’re in the test it doesn’t hurt to use some “test-wise” strategies.  Because each professor designs and organizes their exams differently, analyzing your initial results and using that feedback can help you strategically plan your studying for the next exam.

(Not sure what you're looking for? Navigate to our Where Do I Start page and answer some questions. Based on your answers, we'll suggest some strategies and tools to use. You can check those out and use them to begin a more in-depth exploration of the Learning Corner.)

© 2014, 2016, 2017 Oregon State University Academic Success Center, unless otherwise noted on the material. For non-commercial use only.

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