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Test-taking tips to boost your college admissions chances


Thursday, November 29, 2012
While it is important to get an early start on the college search process, it is equally important that you maintain your focus on your schoolwork and study hard for exams. Grades are one of the most important aspects of a college application, so push yourself to go the extra mile and ace your exams.

Study smarter, not just harder
Effort, dedication and commitment are valuable qualities in a student. However, when preparing for an exam, it is just as important to study in an effective manner. Developing good habits and using your time efficiently can produce better results than spending hours poring over your textbooks.

Business Insider, an online business news site, recommends that, in addition to memorizing important information, you actually apply what you have learned to a real situation. Learning by doing can be significantly more effective than rote memorization. Instead of trying to memorize a list of capital cities, download and print a blank map and mark their locations. Studying in a visual or hands-on way often makes it easier to remember key facts.

Similarly, if you're preparing for a language exam, speak and write in that language instead of just trying to memorize vocabulary. This can be especially helpful when working with verb conjugations and the correct use of tenses in foreign languages.

Take care of yourself
Once you have developed study habits that help you retain information, you should examine your study routine. While it may be tempting to pull an all-nighter  to cram for a test, doing so can actually hurt your academic performance. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles found that a lack of sleep had a serious affect on students' cognitive function.

Data published by the National Sleep Foundation suggests teens need between eight and a half and nine hours of sleep per night in order to function effectively. Failing to get sufficient rest can have a negative effect on your ability to learn and retain new information, concentrate for prolonged periods of time and solve problems.

It is also important to avoid caffeinated beverages during the day. While a you might treat yourself to a latte or cappuccino every now and then, consuming too much caffeine can disrupt your sleep schedule. This, in turn, may actually make you feel more tired. Instead of coffee, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, as this can also improve your ability to focus. You might also be tempted to grab a burger or pizza instead of sitting down to dinner. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables will help maintain your energy levels so you can make the most out of your study time.ADNFCR-16000756-ID-800915789-ADNFCR

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