The ABC’s for Doing Well on the PSATs

PSATs are just around the corner, and with the hope of scholarships hanging above their heads, many students are already feeling the stress to do well.

There are many ways to prepare for the exam, some of the most common being reading over the material and using flashcards; however, which methods are the most effective? Studying is the time when students reinforce what they have learned, so that they can remember it for later, but it’s completely useless if they aren’t studying the right way.

One of the most important things for the student to remember is that he shouldn’t psych himself out. When a person has the proper mindset before starting studying, the actual session will be much less stressful. Three very crucial things to keep remember as you study are to keep positive, avoid thinking negatively, and don’t compare yourself to others.

Another aspect that affects the outcome of a study session is the environment. In a quiet environment it is much easier to concentrate than if one was in a loud one. For example, a student would have a more profitable experience studying in a library than at home in front of a TV. Only study with someone else if the friend won’t be a distraction. People also count as par tof the environment.

Third, one should only bring the things he needs to study. For example, a calculator will distract you much less than a phone calculator. Phones are one of the number one reasons people procrastinate. Though the idea might be to just use it as a calculator, many people find themselves using their phones to text people or check their social networks rather than study.

Now it’s time to get to the actual studying. One of the most highly effective methods of studying is writing and rewriting notes. If this still doesn’t work, it is recommended that you reword everything as you write the notes. Some people find that if they mouth the words as they write them, they remember them better.

Mnemonic devices, more commonly known as memory games, were utilized in elementary school for most of us. The fact that most of us still remember the different chants and acronyms proves how effective they are. “PEMDAS” is one of the most popular mnemonic devices. The reason these memory games work so well is because they require one to use more of his brain. He has to remember a picture or song along with the actual information. These can be done with friends as well. Studying with others can be both fun and rewarding.

Most students find that they learn best by reviewing with their class; however; if this doesn’t work for you, studying by yourself can work just as well. Many people like to use practice tests or old tests to review for the exams. One can also use older tests from the school year. A word of advice if using past tests, don’t study directly from the test because the questions on the old test will be different from the questions on the new test.

A schedule is essential to ensure that everything that is needed to be studied is studied. Depending on what works best for you, set the studying intervals as short as you want-for example, 20 minutes- or as long as you want- an hour to two hours. One of the most important things to remember is studying for longer hours at a time might not be as effective as studying for short intervals with breaks in between. Breaks are necessary to give your mind a rest. Being burnt out on studying by the time it’s time to take the exam will not ensure a good grade.

Both mental and physical health are crucial to do well on an exam. The night before the big day, make sure to get enough sleep. Most doctors recommend eight to nine and a half hoursfor maximum rest; however, some might need more than this. In the morning, eat a well-balanced meal. It should include all the main food groups, especially protein. This will help you be focused on the test rather than your empty stomach. Certain natural supplements can also enhance brain performance on test day.

Hopefully when October 15 comes around, everyone will be prepared to do their best on the PSATs. The most important thing to remember is to keep positive and go into the testing room knowing that you’ll do as well as you can.

Good luck everyone.