Why is it that some students can study on a regular basis and still do poorly on tests and exams? There are several possible explanations for this occurrence, but one explanation is that they are spending study sessions passively reading their notes. This means that even though their eyes are decoding the text in front of them, they aren’t actually absorbing the information that they are reading. For this reason, it’s essential to frequently test yourself to determine if you are taking the information in or merely skimming it.
One easy self-testing method is to close your binder or text book after you read a page or a paragraph and try to summarize what you just read. Speak aloud or write the answer down, and then look at the material to assess how well you did. Continue this process until you are satisfied with your performance.
Another self-testing method is to complete practice questions. These are especially useful in math and math-related subjects because they can help you determine whether you are capable of applying what you learned in class. Practice questions for subjects like history are also useful because they allow you to more closely mimic the actual test conditions than simply closing a book or binder would allow you to. Practice questions for history and other similar subjects are also typically an effective review method because they allow you to read the facts and test your knowledge over and over again.