If you have trouble with performing well on tests, even when you have studied for hours, perhaps it is your strategy, not your brain that is to blame. One common mistake that students make when taking a test is the belief that more studying is better. They figure that the more they study, the more information they absorb, the better their chances of doing well on the test.
This is a flawed logic because often they sacrifice other things in order to cram in more study time, like forgetting to eat well or getting a proper amount of sleep. Other test-takers have no self-confidence, which leads them to make mistakes because they are too focused on their own perceived inadequacy. That is why the best way to take a test is to adopt strategies that best fit you as a test-taker.
When you do poorly on a test, it is because you didn’t prepare in a way that is conducive to yourself. What this means is that you employed a strategy that may work for others, which is why you tried it, but those strategies may not be right for you. If you really want to perform well on a test, you need to know yourself and find out which strategy caters best to your needs. If you don’t like to study last minute for a long period of time, just do quick and concentrated reviews instead of reading over all the material at once.
Alissa Breindel of Austin is a teacher from Strategic SAT Prep who specializes in improving student performance on the SAT and ACT.