When preparing for a college test it’s important to know what your time constraints are. One of the pitfalls for first generation college students is staying up late the night before a test, cramming moments before the test.

One of the most common mistakes I’ve seen college students make is when they have an upcoming test they don’t prepare well. What I help people do is to get out of the habit of is procrastinating their studying. I always encourage people to manage their time wisely by allowing for some leisurely time to be balanced with study time. With the swift pace of a college course, it’s not only important to take good notes in class but also to review the text book and other materials from the course.

Depending on how often a professor chooses to test his/her students it’s a good idea to spend about 10-15 minutes a day reviewing what was discussed in class in a week’s time. Depending on how many class meetings are held each week. It is also important to spend approximately 20-30 minutes about 3-4 days before a big test is coming up. This includes midterms and final exams.

On test day it’s important to have all writing materials (pencils, pens, scantrons, paper, etc.) before test day. I’ve sometimes seen students run to school bookstores minutes before a test to purchase these things, which only adds to the anxiety and pressure to pass the test that you have put so much effort into.

Also when you’re taking the test, it’s important to answer EVERY test question, that way you increase your likelihood of receiving a satisfactory score. For multiple choice questions, search for the keywords in the question and match it with the keyword in the test question that is most relevant. First eliminate the obvious non-belonging answer and from the remaining 3 or 4, pick the best answer. If you get stuck then feel free to skip the question, after one minute, and return to it at the end. If you are still stumped, make your best guess. That way you still have a 1 in 4 (or 1 in 5) chance of answering correctly.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to conquer test anxiety by being well prepared, as well as feeling well rested, relaxed, and confident.