Decide to perform well on the test.  You decide well ahead of time that you are going to perform well and that you will take the necessary steps to do so.  Here it’s helpful to have some encouragement.  You can provide this encouragement for yourself or have friends and family help by reminding you that you will do well on your test.  It may sound silly but if you hear a phrase or statement enough times you begin to believe it.  You may have trouble believing you will be successful, but it takes no more energy to believe you will fail than to believe you will succeed.  Why not focus your energy on the positive side.  Some people struggle with this more than others, but you must have confidence in yourself going into the test, if not your performance will suffer.


If you are given a study guide for the test or test topics by your teacher, spend a large chunk of your time studying by these.  If you are not given a study guide, take a look back at the material covered in the course, the topics of most interest are usually the ones given the most time and priority.  You should additionally at least glance over all course material as most teachers or professors like to give you a little something you’re not expecting to really test you.


Spend time reworking old homework assignments pertaining to the test material.  Also working through similar text book problems is helpful for extra practice.  In general as you work, don’t look at the answers until you have completed the problem, if they are correct great, if not you can look through your solution to figure out where you went wrong.  As you spend time during this process of correcting the solution you will leave with an increased understanding of the concept that you will not likely forget.


Study with classmates.  Forming study groups is a great way for classmates to help each other out.  Students who have less understanding of a topic can be helped by others with a greater understanding.  The students doing the explaining are benefited also as the concepts are solidified in them as they express them.  Each person can take turns explaining topics and the group as a whole can work practice problems, previous homework assignments and discuss issues and clarify concept misunderstandings.


Take advantage of your teacher’s office hours and availability to ask questions.  Also the teacher will generally give time in class for student questions, take advantage of this.  Ask questions you have as soon as possible to get answers, if you wait your problems will compile and lead to confusion in future topics.


Begin studying for a test early.  A week and a half before the date would be ideal.  You should of course be following and taking in material as the course progresses, but refreshing your memory is necessary.  Do not wait until the night before the test; this is not a good plan no matter how well you think you know the material.


Engage in physical activity.  You should do this not just before the test but continually throughout the year.  Performing some type of physical activity for at least thirty minutes, three times a week will elevate your energy level, muscular strength, endurance, and mental acuity.


Try not to spend more than three hours at a time studying.  Beyond three hours your mind will get tired causing you to have increased difficulty understanding and retaining information.  Basically, you will probably get no benefit from studying for very large chunks of time.  If you have to spend a lot of the day studying, try to have one or two hour breaks in between your three hour study sessions.  Additionally, a five minute break for every one hour of studying would be helpful.


Get a good night’s sleep before the test.  You will need plenty of rest to perform your best.


Eat a good breakfast the morning of the test.  This will give you plenty of energy and effort to focus on thinking.