Secret Study Techniques of Your Valedictorian Classmate?

For many high school students, the Advanced Placement (AP) Exams and the final exams are coming up soon. Students are eager to maximize their utmost ability on their exams while they do not know how to. Regardless of it, there are always those who succeed on their assessments, and they do have commonalities in their study techniques. 

How To Excel On Your Assessments 

  1. Elaborative Interrogation

Elaborative interrogation is a study method of logical reasoning. This technique can increase the efficiency of study and help you boost memory recall by constantly asking questions to yourself (5 best ways to study). For example, asking yourself questions such as “Why and how does photosynthesis occur?” can build strong logic to apply the concepts to complex problems. 

  1. Self-explanation

Being a teacher to yourself is one of the best study techniques for students. Explaining the difficult concepts that you have understood can ensure that the information is encoded in your brain. Michelene Chi, the professor of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, says that students can maintain their memories by creating and associating their own meaning in specific topics when they study (5 best ways to study). Therefore, comprehending the main idea and summarizing it in your way instead of memorizing your notes word by word would help you have a long-term memory. 

  1. Practice Testings

Solving the practice test questions and past papers enables you to practice retrieving the information that you have studied before the actual test. If you repetitively go through a thinking or memory retrieval process when you solve similar questions that you can encounter in a test, you can easily and quickly know how to tackle the specific types of problems. Moreover, timed practice testing keeps students from having anxiety about not being able to finish the exam in time (Downs). 

Even though students meticulously prepare for their examinations through these methods, they are often unconfident before the exams because of test anxiety. However, they can overcome it with the following methods. 

How To Reduce Test Anxiety

  1. Establish a Consistent Pretest Routine

Being exposed to an environment that is similar to the exam can help you adapt to it (Sawchuk). For instance, if you study a particular subject at the same time when you will take that test, you will physically feel comfortable since you don’t break your circadian rhythm. 

  1. Reduce Caffeine Intake 

Many students drink coffee or energy drinks before the exam to study overnight. However, they should refrain from drinking such beverages before taking the test as caffeine “facilitate the release of natural hormones that act on the heart to release norepinephrine, which can produce a [stimulating] effect similar to that of adrenaline” (Gluckman). This effect makes students feel more nervous and prevents them from fully utilizing the information that they have studied. 

By: Jieun Kim