What Is the Best Way to Practice for an Upcoming Exam?

Ideal strategies to practice for an exam include studying notes from class, reformatting information and creating a self-test. These strategies help students better engage with material and should be implemented regularly before the exam.

Taking detailed notes and studying them frequently is a powerful tactic in preparing for an exam. Study these notes daily. Research shows that reviewing material within 24 hours of first learning it can increase retention of information by up to 60 percent, explains the College of DuPage. By studying notes throughout the course of a class, students retain information for future exams. When reviewing notes, highlight major topics and ideas, rather than trying to commit all of the information to memory.

Another method to study for an exam is take information and put it into a new format, such as an outline, list, chart or diagram. Actually making use of the information allows a more engaging and in-depth understanding. Putting the information into a new context can be helpful as both a study aid and a memorization tool.

Finally, creating questions for a self-test while studying is a useful technique. Creating difficult questions based on study materials is another way to better engage with the information. After creating questions, taking the practice test can help prepare for questions that may be on the actual test.