The medical field has an abundance of terms and abbreviations to recognize that can cause test anxiety among students. Tests don't have to be so troubling, in fact, they can be helpful as you prepare for your future career in healthcare. Follow these five effective tips to succesfully tackle any test.
1. Know the schedule
Depending on your degree program, you may only have a few tests each term. For some folks, that could be one midterm and one final, or a series of midterms leading into the final. No matter what the breakdown is, it's important to know when the tests are scheduled. That way, you'll have a better idea of what material is being covered and how much time you have to prepare. You'll find this level of attention goes a long way toward successful studying.
2. Set up a study routine
No matter what specific class you're preparing for, it's important to develop a regular study routine. This schedule is important as it makes sure you have ample time and make studying a priority without it interfering in other responsibilities. Always write out your schedule, and make sure you give yourself at least an hour during every study block. It's just as important to have a regular place to study, one without noise or other distractions. Finally, be sure to take regular breaks; a quick stretch can do wonders for your attention span.
Remember why you are studying in the first place, it is helpful to start with the end in mind. For example, try comprehending information in simple terms as if you were explaining to a patient. Not only will this exercise your interpersonal skills, but it will help you understand the material in real situations.
3. Prepare yourself
Effectively preparing for a test isn't just about what you study, but how you treat yourself. You want to make sure you're in a good space mentally and physically before any big test. That means getting plenty of rest, so be sure to avoid all-night cram sessions. You also want to make sure you have ample time to eat in the morning, as your brain needs fuel courtesy of healthy foods. Finally, arrive to any class or test session as early as possible for last-minute reading or just to relax for a few minutes.
4. Be mindful
Just as important as studying and mentally preparing yourself is how you actually take the test. Time management is one of the most important parts of successfully taking any test. If possible, bring a clock with you, and check to make sure you're on pace. It's also a good idea to review every question beforehand. That way, you can tackle the "easier" stuff early and give yourself ample time for more complex questions. If a question is too difficult, though, don't be afraid to skip it and come back later.
"Watch for extreme statements during true or false quizzes."
5. Use a few tricks
Effective studying is the only surefire way to pass any test. But as Brigham Young University pointed out, there are a few different guidelines for test taking. For instance, if you're dealing with true or false questions, it's important to look for so-called extreme modifiers, which include words like never, always, only, everybody, certainly and invariably, as these are often false. For multiple choice questions, meanwhile, a good tactic is to simply eliminate any wrong answers right from the start; that way, you have fewer choices. If you're tackling a matching question, try making a list of items and scratching off incorrect answers. This will give you a visual way to work through challenging questions.