Test Taking Advice

Sofie Brutseart and Lucy Falso

Staff Writers

With AP, Regents and final exams looming, many students are beginning the process of studying in order to do as well on the tests as possible. Teachers, counselors and older students all have their own advice for underclassmen studying for the tests.

“Breathe deeply, get a lot of rest,” said guidance counselor Will Hartley. He says students should be getting 8 hours of sleep a night. Although this is not always realistic on an average school night, it is extra important the day before a big test and in the months leading up to them.


Junior Alice Woods says the first thing she does when beginning to study is to buy review books for the subjects that have them. “For a normal test I always read through all my notes in one sitting. If it’s for AP I buy a review book,” said Woods. Review books for Regents exams will soon be available to buy in the Jamesville-DeWitt High School school store, open Mondays and Wednesdays. Review books for other subjects are also available to purchase at most book stores, including Barnes and Noble. One of the most important things to do when starting to study is to give yourself plenty of time to start, so get those review books soon!


The methods of studying that work differ for most people but there are some helpful tips to get started. When working to memorize information, English teacher Terri Eaton says repetition really helps. “Say it out loud over and over. Read it, write it, say it, do it more than one way,” said Mrs. Eaton. It also can help to make personal memory devices such as acronyms or even songs or sayings. Sophomore Matt Scibilia says he also likes to make quizlets to study with. When it comes to studying for essays and short answer responses on a test, it’s important to know the format, the types of questions generally asked, and the type of responses the test makers are looking for. Mr. Hartley also recommends that students do finger exercises to prepare yourself for a long period of writing.


With most students taking exams on several different subjects, it can be difficult to manage studying for all of them. “Prioritize what the most important exams are,” said Mr. Hartley. Woods says she usually spends a couple hours a night studying each subject. “I usually go with the hardest class first,” said Scibilia. “Do chunks of it each night,” said Mrs. Eaton. “Don’t try to do like, all math one night and all something else another night. Break it up.”


The night before a test students should get a good night's sleep. In the morning, a good breakfast is important. “Drink a cup of black coffee and maybe have a couple of eggs and some wheat toast,” said Mr. Hartley.

During exam week, it’s natural for students to be stressed or nervous about their performance. According to Mr. Hartley, some good methods for relieving stress are taking walks and listening to music. He also reminds kids to put things in perspective.  “It’s not going to matter in 5 years, none of it,” said Mr. Hartley. “Just do your best,” said Mrs. Eaton. JD RamPage wishes the best of luck to students taking exams in the coming months!