How to Improve Your Test Taking Skills in College

College is a great investment in your future. However, it’s also a time of life that requires quite of bit of mental discipline when it comes to studying for tests. For some students, that’s easier said than done.

You might be somebody that has trouble retaining the information you’re taught or, for whatever reason, you just can’t seem to do well on tests even though you enjoy the subject material. If that’s the case, here are some tips to help you boost your test scores.

Avoid Test Anxiety

As with so many other things in life, you’ll find that doing well on tests starts with developing a positive mental attitude. If you don’t think you can do well, then you probably won’t. On the other hand, if you believe that you can ace that upcoming midterm or final, then you’re well on your way to achieving that goal.

In short, don’t doubt yourself. Believe that you can do well on tests and you’ll lay a foundation for great grades.

Use a Study Schedule

Although it’s the birthright of every college student to cram before a big test, that’s not the best way to retain information. Also, what are you going to do if something comes up when you’ve put off your studies until the last minute? You might have even less time to study than you realized.

Instead, develop a consistent study routine and stick to it. Spend some time every day (okay, maybe not on weekends, that’s asking too much) going over your notes, memorizing what you’ve learned, and reviewing the textbooks. With that increased repetition, you’ll find that you retain more of what you’ve been taught. That will serve you well on a test.


Another important reason to avoid cramming is because you usually do so at the expense of your own sleep. That means when it comes time to take the test, you’re exhausted and in no condition to perform at your best.

Avoid falling into that trap and, instead, ensure that you get proper rest the night before a big test. Your body and mind will thank you by working together to help you get a great grade on an upcoming exam.

Handle the Easy Stuff First

Even if you follow this advice, it’s likely that you’ll still stumble across a question that you don’t know on an exam. For starters, don’t let it make you sweat. It’s just one question and you might figure it out later on.

However, there might be several other questions following that one that you can easily answer thanks to your newfound study habits. Skip the question you don’t know and go on to the ones that you do know. After you’re done with those, come back to the tough one.

Taking tests can be tough, even for students who’ve opted for online education like PSU Online. However, with the right study habits and knowledge about how to properly take a test, you can be well on your way to acing more of your exams.

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