Are Students Studying the Right Way?

Olivia Schultz

A student studying for the test

One of the most important things that happen during a student’s Junior year of high school is the ACT and the SAT. These are standardized tests that help colleges understand your level of knowledge. They are so important that it can change where your life takes you after high school. The question is, what can students do to make sure that they get a good score? Students can understand how to deal with the anxiety, also know what helps them succeed, and last things that haven’t helped students study. 

To overcome the anxiety associated with testing, students can find helpful easy to reduce stress. The biggest struggle for a student when taking a standardized test is the anxiety that comes with it.  The very common thing is that many students wait until the last minute to study, which is what causes anxiety. That is because they do not feel ready to take the test.  According to a study from Edam, educational science, “That using appropriate test-taking strategies reduces test anxiety.” Finding the right way to study will help lower anxiety.  This will lead to a higher test score. A senior at SPASH, Ally Bertrand, got an above-average score.“ I studied while chewing mint gum and also while taking the test and also helped me remember things easier. It really helped me relax and not stress about the test as much.” While studying she chewed gum which makes her concentrate, reducing the anxiety she had for the test. 

The biggest way to be successful on standardized tests is to harness your motivation. According to the study of Edam, educational science, “A student’s ability, success, and GPA are factors overlapped due to individual strategies.” This may seem like something that is very obvious but it is true that to be most successful is a student’s own responsibility. Many people don’t know that the test is testing more about your responsibility skills over how smart a student is. 

Having motivation also connects to a student’s individual GPA. A GPA is mostly about a student’s individual responsibility, so having a higher GPA score may lead to a higher score on the test. This means by making sure you have a high GPA will most likely prepare you to have the right skills for the test. Mrs. Ries gives many tips on how to keep yourself responsible. “The best ways are setting aside designated time, joining study groups, and also using programs such as ACT Academy, or Method Test Prep.  Take practice tests and use that information to help you study in the areas that you are weak in.” By taking the practice tests it can help you go over things that are tougher so that a student is not wasting their time on things that are already easy to them. 

The logos of the resources mentioned

After a student has the motivation to learn, they can use some helpful tips to prepare themselves. One of the most frequently asked questions students ask their counselor is when should they start studying for the test. “I think it is OK for students to start studying at the end of sophomore year, and all through the junior year up until the test.” She also explains that it can be different for every student. It depends on where our weaknesses and strengths are. But, her tip is to start studying as soon as possible so you are not piling it up at one time. As well as registering early so you know how much time you have to study. This can help you plan out how much studying you need to do every week or month. “We refer students to Method Test Prep, Khan Academy, ACT Academy, and most recently Galin.” She explains how these resources are free to use so anyone can be successful. Edam study also explained, “It has been suggested that students who use test preparation and test-taking strategies will have an increase in their academic success.” Students who do take the time to use resources show that they have been more successful. In addition, if students do take the time to use resources provided by the school and taking the time to actually use them will help a student forward. 

A student should know what they should do the night before or the day of. It can almost be just as important as the many others they studied. Mrs. Ries suggests, “The night before I suggest getting a good night’s sleep!  No sense cramming for any more information to soak up.” Getting rest before will benefit more than staying up late to study more. Both Mrs. Ries and Ms. Bertrand added that having a good breakfast and staying hydrated will help your body work at its best. 

What many students don’t know is that there are some non-helpful ways to study for the test. “She says that reviewing things for reading didn’t help her because on the test you read a passage and answer questions based on it.” It’s hard to study for the reading portion because the reading part is different for everyone. One of the best ways she says is to read more often than normal, just so your mind can read a little bit faster for the test.  Mrs. Ries says “Math and Reading seem to be difficult for “most” students.  Not everyone is good in math unfortunately and you will even see that during our normal school years.” The math portion of the test seems to be where most students struggle the most. Most students will hold off the harder parts of the test for them while studying. This will make it harder for them to achieve well in that portion of the test. Overall, start studying what is individually the most challenging topic. 

Many students are struggling to find the best ways to study but, overall the best way is always going to be what individually helps a student. Not everything works for everyone but taking responsibility for studying is going to be the best way to achieve the goal.