Finals/SAT/ACT Study Tips

I don’t know about you, but finals are next week for me. I have found that in the past, certain things work for studying and others don’t.

  1. Start studying early! Okay, maybe a week before isn’t a good time for this post, but my best advice for you is to start studying early. Unless you have some crazy superpowers, studies show that cramming the night before (or let’s be honest morning of) doesn’t work.
  2. Take good notes. This is another before hand tip, but not only does taking good notes help the information to go through your head at the time, but it also makes it easier to study from it.
  3. Quizlet. I use quizlet a lot. I started a quizlet class at the beginning of the year for my AP World History class and then my friends will add sets they find as well. It is a really useful tool for most classes that have to do with memorization (not necessarily math).
  4. YouTube/ Documentaries. There are lots of valuable audio/visual learning tools at your disposal. I watch Crash Course by John Green for World (they have them for lots of subjects though), and last year in my AP US History class, Adam Norris was my favorite. I also will sometimes watch documentaries (again more for studying for history). At first I thought this would be super boring, but if you find the right ones they actually help me to remember information very well.
  5. Study Guide/ Practice Problems. Not all teachers make study guides, but if they do, it’s really important to do them and study the problems while you are filling out the study guide. If the teacher doesn’t provide a study guide, then you can go back through previous homework’s and tests and do problems from them, or ask for them to give you more practice problems/ questions.
  6. Use a finals calculator to see what score you need. This can be used as a cop out and can make people not try their best, but for me it is a motivator. I am not a very good test taker, even though I work my butt off studying, but I have very high goals for myself, so having a number to aim for (and hopefully shoot above) helps.
  7. Exercise, Water, Sleep. I clumped these three together because they all help you to be healthiest so you can do your best. I am not sure why, but exercising helps me to be able to think. I always feel so good after doing something active, and it keeps me from just sitting in a chair trying to study all day (and most likely just getting caught up on YouTube). Staying hydrated is so important so that you won’t get sick, and will be at your best. You need to get a good night’s rest in order to perform at your best for the test, so try to go to sleep early. If it comes between studying or sleeping, always sleep. You will do better if you are well rested than if you crammed all night and are exhausted.
  8. Clean space to study in. It’s easy when I am busy studying for finals and just overall stressed to let everything become a mess, but you will be less distracted and will get more done if you have a clean area to work in.
  9. Get rid of all electronics/ distractions while studying. Study in 30-60 minute stretches with 5 minute breaks in between. (I put mine in my sock drawer).
  10. I don’t test well. At all. I took a test today, and bombed (but in all fairness the highest grade in my class was a 71% if that says anything). The people who did the best didn’t study, and it says a lot, but more in the sense of overthinking problems.
    1. Don’t go back and change any answers unless you are ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE the other answer is correct.
    2. Don’t over study. You might lose more information than you gain, and then just be super tired.

Please feel free to share your tips and tricks for how you study for finals/ any test. How did you do on your finals? Are you still in school? What grade? I’m a Junior (11th) in High School. 


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