One of the best study strategies I have learned when preparing for a test is to study in smaller chunks approximately 2 months in advance. This is particularly effective for a standardized test for a license, credential, or a certificate.

What I always encourage people to do, when preparing for a test, is to prepare themselves to go into the test feeling relaxed, confident, and also well rested. I have seen, and experienced what it’s like to go into a test feeling Unprepared and nervous. And while it does, on occasion, keep us focused and on track for the task at hand, it does not always produce the results we want.

I recommend studying approximately 2 months in advance for a standardized test. That way you can study in smaller study sessions of approximately 25-30 minutes per day, 5-6 days a week. This is because the average attention span for humans is 20 minutes. Afterwards our attention begins to drift. When we sit down to read and take notes on our study materials we give it our fullest attention. But as we continue, our minds are continuously being fed new information that needs to be digested. Our subconscious mind is digesting and making sense of the information it was fed when we are taking a break from studying to do something else.

I believe that using the 20 minute attention span to our advantage is key to smart studying. But I also have learned that it’s a good idea to study for an extra 5-10 minutes when our attention runs low. I also believe that giving ourselves a small challenge of going that extra 5-10 minutes encourages and creates intellectual growth.

This is why I recommend studying two months in advance before a standardized test. That way we can focus on our jobs, our family life, our social life, and other leisurely activities.