How to Get Ready for Your Next Test

Try these tips for memorization, concentration, and comprehension

get ready for a test with these tips, tips for test preparation, prepare for a test

Whether you are a high school student, college student, vocational student, or a career training student, tests are going to be part of your education. Like it or not, tests are an important way for teachers to measure whether you are learning the material. And the tests aren’t just for the teachers. They are for you too! Tests help you know the areas where you are strong and the areas where you still need help.

Next time you have a test coming up, try these strategies to help you do better.

1. Use your homework as a study tool
When you get your homework assignments back, don’t throw them away! Instead, take a look at the teacher’s markings and figure out where you made mistakes. These are the areas that you need to study harder. You can use your homework as a study tool by re-doing the assignments in preparation for the test. Often times your tests will cover the same topics as your homework, so re-doing your homework is a good way to refresh your memory and improve your comprehension.

2. Re-write, re-organize, or read your class notes out loud
Reading over your notes is one good way to study for a test, but sometimes the information just doesn’t sink in. Some people find it useful to re-write their notes. The act of writing can help the information stick in your brain better. Other people re-organize their notes into categories or timelines that make more sense for them. Or try speaking your notes out loud. It may sound strange, but reading them out loud might help you remember them better.

3. Use sticky notes or highlighter pens
When you have a large textbook full of long passages, it can be hard to know where to begin your studying. If you own the book, you may want to use a highlighter pen to mark the important passages. If it’s a borrowed book, use sticky notes to flag important parts. This way when you go back over the chapter, you can easily see the most important parts.

4. Bring flashcards everywhere you go
For facts and concepts that need to be memorized, flashcards are an effective tool. Once you create a set of flashcards, bring them with you wherever you go.  You can practice them while standing in line, waiting for a bus, or studying with friends.

5. Give your brain a break
While cramming the night before a test is certainly a time-tested technique, it may not be the most effective technique. Try these study tips for making your study time more effective:

  • Break it up: Rather than trying to memorize a long list of medical terminology or the entire human anatomy all in one sitting, break the information into smaller manageable parts each day.
  • Move around: Study in different locations—libraries, your room, a coffee shop, a study lounge. Studying in different locations makes your brain associate certain learning with certain locations, and sometimes this helps the information to take hold.
  • Take study breaks: Study for 30 minutes on, 5 minutes off. Five-minute study breaks help your brain to unwind. Take a short walk or stretch during your time off.
  • Meditate: Many people find that mindfulness and meditation are effective ways of focusing their minds for an important task. If meditation is up your alley, give it a try before your next test.

6. Avoid distractions
Distraction seems to be one of the 21st century’s culprits when it comes to inefficient studying. Instead of falling victim to distraction, make sure you (a) set aside a time and place to study where you won’t be interrupted, and (b) turn off all of your devices. If you treat your studying like a job, and pretend your boss is looking over your shoulder, you will find out just how efficient you can be.

7. Exercise, eat well, and get a good night’s sleep
Studying for a test gives your brain a good workout, but your body needs some attention too. Be sure to get adequate exercise throughout each week. Skipping your exercise can make you feel lethargic and less mentally alert. Be sure to eat healthy meals, and especially a healthy breakfast on the day of the test. And don’t sacrifice your sleep. You want to feel your best on the day of the test!

8. Learn to like ‘em
Remember, tests are not meant as a punishment! Tests are given in order to help you assess the areas where you need to be stronger. Ultimately they help you become a better student. So try to change your attitude and look at the test as one more tool to help you gain a better education.

We hope these tips set you off on the right foot before your next test. Remember, tests may be stressful, but they are an important part of your learning. And we know you can do it if you put your mind to it!


Located in Orlando, FL, the American College for Medical Careers specializes in training for careers such as Sonographer, Dental Assistant, and Medical Assistant. For information about our medical career training programs, visit us online.