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How to Study for a Chapter Test

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Your teacher announced today that you have a test over chapter 8 on Friday. The good news is that she gave you a review sheet for the stuff that was going to be on the test. Score! The bad news is that you lost it six minutes ago, the smart kid who sits in the front won't share, and now you're stuck wondering how to study for a chapter test when you have no idea what's going to be on it.

Luckily, you're reading this. Here's a great way to prepare for a chapter test even if you don't have the review guide.

How to study for any test

Step One:

Harass Someone Smart: And not in a way that's going to get you thrown out of school. The easiest thing to do to help you prepare for a chapter test is to see if either the smartest kid in class will share his or her review sheet with you, or (gulp!) ask the teacher for another review guide. More than likely, your teacher will help you out; I wouldn't bank on the smart kid. If, however, for some reason you're unable to locate another review guide, then move onto Step Two.

Step Two:

P2AQ. What? I know. You have no idea what P2AQ means. It's basically an acronym for "You've got some work to do, pal." It stands for "Peek, Ask, Answer, and Quiz," which is what you're going to do when you go back through your chapter to make sure you've read it effectively (translation: you know all the stuff inside). First, you'll take a peek inside the chapter, paying attention to graphics, subtitles, and anything else that looks important so you be able to "get" the big picture of what you'll be tested on. Next, you'll turn the chapter subtitles into questions, and will answer them on a sheet of paper. Finally, you'll quiz yourself over the material by covering up the answers you've just written to be sure you've actually understood the material. How to use the P2AQ method

Step Three:

Use Mnemonic Devices. You remember the phrase, "Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally", don't you? Sure you do! It's the phrase your math teacher used to help you remember the order of operations for solving problems (parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction). He or she gave you a mnemonic device, which is merely a tool you can use to help you remember something. Acronyms, phrases, songs, poems, and even places can help you remember lists or details you may struggle to get into your brain. So, as you're learning the material from the chapter, create acronyms from the first letters in a list, set facts to music and rhyme information that doesn't seem to stick.

Step Four:

Find a Study Buddy. And your imaginary friend, Phillip, doesn't count. Find a study partner in class or get a parent, sibling, roommate or romantic interest to quiz you ruthlessly over the chapter content. Your study partner should be willing to take no prisoners, so if your flame of the month is too ga-ga over you to make you focus on the study material and get the answers right, then choose someone else who will. Pass over the sheet of paper you used when you were using the P2AQ reading method, and have your partner ask you the questions. Then, open up the textbook to the back of the chapter where the review questions are, and have your study partner quiz you on those, too. Then, for even more fun, have your partner randomly select bold or italicized words, graphics and seemingly important details throughout the chapter and ask you about those, as well.

Step Five:

Chat Up Classmates Before the Test. And I do mean right before the chapter test. On the day of the exam, when everyone else is yakking about the football game they watched the night before, find a couple of people near you and grill them about what they studied last night. Ask to see their review sheets if they have them. See if there's anything on the guides that you missed during your own study session. If they won't cough them up (which is just mean), see if they'll let you ask them questions from your own review guide – you may just find out new info that could be the difference between a pass or a fail on the test.

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