A Student’s Guide to Studying and Test Preparation

test prep

Taking a test is one of the most challenging events of your student life. Whether you are a K-12 student or are working on your college degree, it can always be a nerve-wracking experience to study for an important exam. You’re not alone: students of all ages find themselves struggling with proper studying techniques.

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There are many effective ways to study; below you will learn about proper listening and note-taking techniques, how to manage your time more efficiently, and how to prepare for an upcoming test or quiz. As always, learning to manage stress, getting adequate sleep, and taking care of your physical and mental health are all integral parts of being a student.

Time Management Techniques

Effective Listening

Note Taking

  • There are 5 Rs to Note Taking: record, reduce, recite, reflect, and review.
  • Be prepared when taking notes: Make sure you’re equipped with paper, pens, pencils, and a notebook. If you’re taking notes electronically, make sure you have your laptop charger and are sitting near an outlet!
  • Effective note taking relies on effective listening (see above!) Learn to listen effectively and pick out the most valuable material in a lecture. Identify the main ideas; don’t write down every little thing!
  • Notetaking
  • Effective Note-Taking in Class
  • The Five Rs of Note-Taking
  • Note-Taking: Tips & Methods to Improve Your Notes (pdf)
  • Cornell Note Taking Method
  • Always leave space and organize your notes into sections. Not only does this make notes easier to read, but you have additional space in case you need to add more information later. Separating notes into sections allows you to categorize important topics and not jumble everything together.
  • Using subtitles and category headings in your notes helps you identify new topics and important ideas. This will help you stay organized.
  • Note-Taking Skills: 20 Tips (pdf)
  • Note Taking Techniques (pdf)
  • Note Taking Strategies
  • Note Taking in School
  • Maximizing Listening and Note-Taking Skills
  • Taking Effective Notes

Test Taking

Learning Strategies and Study Skills

Additional Student Resources

Brenda Rufener

Julie McCaulley

Carrie Sealey-Morris