By Emily Carone
While I can't help you study, I can give you some practical advice to help you take tests. If you already have some prior knowledge in any of the subjects offered at Thomas Edison State College, you might be interested in the study tips below. Naturally, these tips apply to all tests and credit-by-exam programs, including common ones like the College-Level Exam Program (CLEP) and our own TECEP®.
Best of all, you don't need to learn any complicated techniques, because most test-taking tips are not rocket science--they're plain old common sense.
So, here are four test-taking tips I hope you find helpful in preparing for your next exam.
1. Cramming for a test is not as effective as following a consistent study schedule leading up to the test. You will retain more information for a longer period of time if you schedule several shorter study sessions during the days before the test. Of course you should cram if you haven't studied and your test is tomorrow.
2. Don't study your material in sequence from the beginning to the end. Jump around. If you study "out of order" you are more likely to remember the information. Many tests randomize the order of the questions so if you learn the material in sequence it will be harder for you to recall it during the test.
3. While you are studying, try to ignore all things digital, like your phone, unless you are using a device to study. Digital distractions—even very brief ones—diminish information retention and recall.
4. Review difficult material before bedtime (not if you're tired!), then get a good night's sleep. Your brain will process the information overnight.
Do you have any exam tips to share?
Written by Emily Carone
Emily is the Assistant Director of the Center for the Assessment of Learning and has been at the College for 39 years. She earned a BA from Douglass College, Rutgers University. Connect with her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.