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Test Taking Tips from the Learning Centre

December break is fast approaching, which means Ridleians are preparing for their end of term tests and projects. Test taking has a tendency to induce anxiety for many students, but fortunately there are a number of resources offered to our students to help alleviate this stress.

Ridley’s Learning Centre is a space on campus dedicated to helping students get the most out of their learning experience. It provides a quiet space for students to study and acquire a range of subject-specific and organizational tutoring from our dedicated Learning Strategists.

Below you will find a series of quick tips for note-taking, studying and test-taking, provided by the Learning Centre.

Quick tips for note-taking

Record. Jot down the most useful information during your lecture. It is best to try and decipher what information is more important when writing down the information. Quality over quantity.

Summarize. Upon completion of each page of notes, summarize the key points made at the bottom of the page.

Review. Spend at least ten minutes, every week, reviewing all of your notes. This will allow you to slowly retain the information without overloading your memory.

Tips adapted from How to Study in College 7/e by Walter Pauk, 2001 Houghton Mifflin Company

Quick tips for studying and test anxiety

Set a study timeline. Avoid last minute studying by making a realistic studying plan that dedicates chunks of time to specific topics over a longer period of time.

Feed your brain. When studying for a test, avoid caffeine and sugar and increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet improves brain function and promotes clarity.

Rest and relaxation. Your brain needs time to recover after studying. Wind down before going to bed by turning off all devices and relaxing before bed. Ensure you get eight hours of sleep after studying; especially on test day.

Create a study guide. Using your lecture notes, class materials and references, make a study guide that compiles useful information that will be needed for your test.

Consider the nature of the course. For technical course, practice problems. For non-technical courses, study the major topics found on the course outline.

Quick tips for test writing success 

Choose an effective space. If you are easily distracted, choose a spot in the front or against a wall to limit distractions.

Write quick “memory notes”. As soon as you may begin writing your test, write down any quick, important facts that may help you later on. These can be dates, names, formulas or acronyms.

Use the first 5 minutes to preview the exam. Previewing the exam will allow you to gauge the types of questions being asked. If there is an essay question, previewing the question being asked will allow your brain to being formulating ideas as you write the first part of the test.

Allocate your time. Longer questions will require more time. Ensure you have enough time to answer all of the questions. If you find yourself stuck on one, move on to the next questions; you can always come back to the ones you’ve missed.

What to do if you’re stuck. If you are stuck on a question, leave it. When you return to it, if you are still unsure, make an educated guess.

 

Good luck to all students writing their final term tests!

For more information on Ridley’s Learning Center, please click here or contact Learning Specialist/Founder, Mrs. Elizabeth Clarke; elizabeth_clarke@ridleycollege.com or (905) 684-1889 ext. 2611.