Posts Tagged ‘Test Prep’

How to Prepare for a Test in One Week: Secrets of the Fast Preparation

Monica Morganby Monica Morgan, Guest Blogger

The worst nightmare of every student is probably a final test at their school or college, especially when only one week has left. Sure, it causes stress, anxiety and chronic nervousness as a young person cannot calm down even for a minute. However, the main problem is that only very few of them can prepare to the test successfully and quickly. Although one week seems to be a long term and the majority finds that it is enough to get ready for exams, it is much more complicated to cope with this in reality. You will have to review and remember all the materials you have studied per one year. Sometimes students cannot even imagine how much information they have to learn in such quick terms. Then, one week does not look like a period which is enough to deal with everything necessary for a test.

Pay Attention to Your Workplace

First of all, it is important to keep in mind that workplace plays a great role in the whole process of preparation. Unfortunately, many students ignore this point and work in noise or messy places. As a result, they have a low productivity and simply waste their time while learning materials without effectiveness and concentration. You can spend your time for studying with a better use. There are some easy but beneficial ways for making your workplace cozy, tidy and, what is the most important, appropriate for learning in several minutes.

Clean Your Desk

It is a typical situation when young people have an awful mess in their bedrooms and places for studying. There are thousands of papers, notebooks and other things on their desks. It is impossible to find something which you really need quickly. Hence, you will waste hours to get a textbook while preparing for a test. It is better to care about this beforehand and solve this problem with simple cleaning your room and putting all documents in the right order. You should divide your desk into sections and sort out everything.

Make It Quiet

Do not forget that it is important to provide quietness in the place your work. Turn off your phone, music and other distractions. Moreover, you should ask your relatives to avoid disturbing you when you learn things for the test. Hopefully, they will understand such a necessity clearly. Remember that noise may be your worst enemy while studying as it makes you unable to concentrate.


Create a Plan

You should create a certain plan of your studying and, do not ignore it while working. A schedule helps you to prioritize your tasks and cope with them quickly and effectively. In case you study irregularly, it will be hard to finish your preparation and reach some significant skills for your test as well. Thus, you have to set the amount of information you should learn per day. For example, you can pick a number of pages in your textbook which you have to read and note. In this way, you will be able to rest and study without tiredness and stress. Having a plan is the best treatment for the time pressure.


Use Past Tests

It happens that teachers do not give you any examples of questions which will be presented in the test. Hence, you cannot even imagine which kind of tasks you should expect and prepare to. In such a case, it is a good idea to use past tests. The majority of professors do not change the main scheme for years, and you can try to use these materials for preparing to yours. Sure, there may be lots of changes. However, it will let you revise everything one more time and understand the type of questions.

Summarize Information

Do not forget that your task is not just to read something or learn it by heart. The main point is understanding the material clearly. Only in this way you can prepare for the test. Hence, you should make notes while reading and then summarize them. Try to retell things in your own words. If you can do it, it means you will not be confused while writing your test. In case you simply learn everything by heart, you will probably forget the majority of this information soon and lose your chance to pass exams successfully.

Make Specific Cards

One more beneficial idea which can help you to memorize information is making some flash cards. Your task is putting down the most significant points on them. It is a good way to learn formulas or grammatical rules. You can use these cards in order to test yourself or ask someone else for help. It can even be a kind of a game when you have to pick a card and then answer the question written on it. Do not put them into a trash bin after passing your test. You can give them to younger students or use some time later as the material used to be repeated at different exams at college.

Cooperate with Group Mates

If you have some close friends in your group, you can ask them to cooperate and prepare to the test together. You should plan your learning as well. In case you have a partner, things are simpler, as you can explain each other some information and study in the form of a game. For example, it is possible to use cards which were mentioned before. It is a pretty good idea to provide a short quiz and ask questions each other. It is beneficial if you have an oral exam. Furthermore, cooperation with your friend will help you to prevent nervousness and disturbance. You will feel that your buddy is ready to support you.

Take Some Breaks

It is significant to remember about regular breaks while preparing to the test. Your target is the prevention of being exhausted and stressed. It will ruin all your efforts and diligence. When a student is nervous and does not have enough sleep, he will not be able to work productively. Hence, you should follow your daily schedule and try to provide a good rest for your body. For example, you can establish a strict time when you should go to bed and recall about it every time you want to study during the night. Abstain from bad habits. Smoking will never help you to get rid of nervousness before exams.

All in all, it is true that preparation to your test may be complicated and take a lot of time in case you are not aware of these tips and secrets. It is proven by dozens of students that a young person can get ready for an exam for one week without sleepless nights and chronic tiredness. However, you should never postpone your preparation until one day is left to your exam. You will not be able to learn anything in such a short period. Hence, you have to keep in mind all important dates in your head or write them in your diary in order to avoid disappointment.


Author Bio

Monica Morgan is a free-spirited woman having vast experience in article writing. She loves to travel Asian countries, writing reviews on each of them on her She prefers using diverse writing styles to properly engage with a wide array of readers.


December 13th, 2016
Posted in
Featured, Test Preparation Tips
Comments (0)

SSAT Synonyms: Don’t Let the Attractors Stump You!

SSAT Synonyms

SSAT instructor Terri of Prepped & Polished teaches you how to avoid getting stumped by the attractor answer choices on the SSAT Synonyms section.

4 SSAT Synonyms Tips:
1. Anticipate the answer
2. Part of speech will be consistent
3. Before being drawn to an attractor, think of context of word
4. Master vocabulary and acquaint yourself with word parts and word origins

Are you taking the SSAT Test? Any follow up qs for Terri?

Post your tips/comments below.

Subscribe to our Blog Feed

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

SAT Prep

November 16th, 2014
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
Featured, SSAT
Comments (0)

Ryan S. (Melrose, MA)

“I reached out to Alexis for his advice on preparing for the GMAT test. After we had a discussion regarding where I currently was at (Practice Exam Score) and what my goals were, Alexis set forward a schedule of tutoring sessions and found a tutor that fit my needs. Jason was the tutor that Alexis set me up with and he was terrific. Having been a GMAT 760 scorer, he knew firsthand what it took to achieve a high score on the GMAT. My goal was to earn a 700, a benchmark that most highly-rated schools look for. Over the 10 weeks, I saw gradual progress in my practice score tests. Alexis checked in weekly to ensure that everything was going well. When I took the test, I felt fully prepared for the challenges of the GMAT. I scored much better than the 700 goal score I set – I scored a 740! Thank you to my tutor, Jason! Thank you to Alexis and Prepped and Polished!”

April 24th, 2014
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
Comments (0)

The Night Before Your Exam: How NOT to Stress Out

Executive Function and Study Skills Tutor suggest about test prepBy Jordana F., Study Skills and Executive Function Tutor, Prepped & Polished, LLC

It’s Thursday night, you’ve just finished dinner and all you want to do is go upstairs and watch some T.V. But you can’t. You have a huge exam tomorrow! You know deep down that you know the material and that you’ve studied as much as humanly possible, but still have a pit in your stomach saying “I should study more!” What do you do in these situations? Is it better to over study? Or is watching your favorite show the way to go?

If you’ve given it your best shot, the answer is…Go watch your favorite show! Over studying can create anxiety and be counterproductive to your test preparation. Walking into an exam feeling jittery, nervous and anxious is never a good idea. These feelings can get in the way of your success on the exam. Another idea that will help you with those pre-test jitters is to avoid talking with your friends about the test. Facebook yes. Sharing instagram posts Ok. “What did you get for number 3?” No! From personal experience, it is a bad idea to get together with friends, the night before an exam; it fosters an environment filled with anxiety and fear.

It’s also very important to recognize when you’re feeling nervous or anxious. When you start getting that “pit” in your stomach, or your thoughts start racing, it’s important to take a breath and realize that you are feeling this way. Once you are able to recognize the feeling, you are better able to control it moving forward.

Don’t get me wrong, it is Ok to review the night before. However, you should set a time limit. One hour? Half hour? Whatever the limit is, stick to it! After you are done, close your book and place it in your bag so that it is out of sight. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Here are five tips that I have found most helpful when trying to stay calm the night before an exam. Good luck! (You don’t need it though ☺ )

5 Helpful Hints for Keeping Calm the Night before an Exam:

1. Deep breathing: Breathe in, breathe out, repeat.
2. Place your books in your bag so you are not tempted to reach for them.
3. Create a studying time limit- When you’re done, be done!
4. Watch your favorite mindless T.V. show, or read a fun magazine or book or put your headphones in and play some of your favorite songs on iTunes
5. Exercise reduces stress: Go for a walk with your dog, or go for a run

Jordana holds a B.A. in psychology from NYU, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2006. She went on to receive a master’s degree in school counseling from the University of Southern California in 2010 and continued on, receiving her second masters degree in mental health counseling from Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf School of Psychology in 2013. Jordana worked as a guidance counselor at Beverly Hills High School, helping students with their college essays. Jordana’s interests include study and organizational skills, time management, and executive functioning coaching.

Are you stressing out before your exam? Which of Jordana’s five tips do you need to practice the most?

Post your tips/comments below.

Subscribe to our Blog Feed

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

January 9th, 2014
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
Children and Adult Well-Being, Featured, Test Preparation Tips, Tutoring
Comments (0)

Episode 8: Lorena Knapp, Getting Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Lorena Knapp, Online Test Prep

On this episode of Prepped & Polished Podcast, I interview TEDx speaker and Alaskan medevac helicopter pilot Lorena Knapp. Lorena talks about her unique career as a helicopter pilot and amazing journey inspiring others as a published writer, coach, and speaker.

Lorena has an undergraduate degree in biology from University of California Santa Cruz and Masters in Teaching from Alaska Pacific University. She received the airline transport rating, which is highest rating for an airline pilot.

Tutoring and Test Preparation for Online SAT Prep, Online ACT prep and also Online SSAT prep as well as Online test prep
Should teens learn to take more risks? Do you have any other questions you’d like to ask Lorena?
Post your tips/comments below.
Subscribe to our Blog Feed
Become a Fan on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

January 8th, 2014
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
Featured, Podcast
Comments (1)

5 Tips for Succeeding in AP Chemistry

Jen L. AP Chemistry Tutor Prepped & Polished, LLCBy Jennifer L., AP Chemistry Instructor, Prepped & Polished, LLC

These tips consist of both important general knowledge and study strategies to help you succeed in AP Chemistry.

Tip 1: Get VERY comfortable with the Periodic Table

The Periodic Table is the most important reference for any chemistry student because it provides a LOT of information.
1. Learn the groups and their characteristics:
a. Focus on groups 1-8A… know what they are (metals, gases, etc). You don’t need to know very much about the B group transition metals in general chemistry.
b. Know how to find the number of valence electrons and bonds that an element can form by its group number.
c. If they exist as cations or anions and their charge. For example, alkali metals (+1), halogens (-1), etc…

2. Learn periodic trends:
a. Electron affinity, electronegativity, and ionization energy – right and up
b. Atomic radius – left and down
c. Know what these trends mean and try to apply them

If you take these things to heart, they will help you with nearly all aspects of chemistry – stoichiometry, drawing Lewis structures, molecular geometry, reactions, and much more. You can find more information in your textbook.

Tip 2: Know your variables and units

Before a test, review the equations you learned and make sure you know what each variable represents and its units. It is important to know what each equation can help you find.

For example, the ideal gas law. In order to solve for any of the variables, you will need to know that:


P = pressure (atm)
V = volume (liters)
N = moles
R = gas constant = 0.08206 atm*L/K*mol
T = temperature (Kelvin)

If you use Celsius instead of Kelvin, or if you use the wrong form of the gas constant, your answer will be wrong.

Tutoring, AP Chemistry Tutor

Tip 3: Write out the information the problems give you

Whenever you have a problem that involves math, make sure that you write down the values that are given and their units. From there, if you are stumped, you can use that information to figure out the right formula to use, granted you followed tip #2.

Tip 4: Take notes in class and read your textbook!

Some may find reading the textbook before a lecture to be useful, but what I suggest is to:
1. Pay attention in class.
2. Take the best notes you can.
3. Go back to the textbook after the lecture and fill in your notes on areas you did not understand or areas that the teacher made emphasis on. This way, you get a general overview in class of what is important to learn/study, then after class you can focus on the important material rather than focusing on everything in the textbook.
4. Re-write your notes the week following up to the test. Not only will re-writing your notes make them neater and easier to refer back to, but it will also help the information sink in. During the test, you may be able to remember writing a fact down, or drawing out an important structure.

Tip 5: Practice, practice, practice!

Like anything else, practicing is essential for success. Before any class test or the AP exam, utilize any practice tests or study materials your teacher provides. If you feel you need more practice materials, you can ask your teacher, do the problems in the book, or look online. These materials will help you familiarize yourself with the types of questions that will be on the tests and save you some time during the exams.

Jennifer graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a B.S. in Biochemistry/B.A. in Chemistry double major. Throughout college, Jennifer worked as a student tutor, assisting over 100 students with coursework in science and mathematics. Jennifer has a passion for teaching and plans to pursue a career in education as a high school chemistry teacher. She currently works as a full-time chemist, and spends her spare time dancing, cooking, and learning.

Are you taking the AP Chemistry Exam? Any questions or additional tips you’d like to share?

Post your tips/comments below.

Subscribe to our Blog Feed

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

October 23rd, 2013
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
AP, Chemistry, Featured, Tutoring
Comments (0)

Steve S. (Newton, MA)

“A friend of mine whose children had worked with Prepped and Polished recommended Alexis to me when my daughter was looking for some “fine-tuning” on her test scores. Alexis worked with my daughter during the summer, not just on math problems but also on general test preparation and strategy. Her scores improved; she will be attending her first-choice college in the fall, and our experience with Alexis and PnP was very professional and productive!”

February 14th, 2012
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
Comments (0)

Paul L. (Norfolk, MA)

“Alexis did a great job with my daughter, Emma. She found his test taking strategies very helpful and a much more efficient use of her time than one of the other test companies available.”

June 30th, 2011
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
Comments (0)

How to Avoid Careless Mistakes on SAT Sentence Error Questions

Tips for SAT Sentence Error Questions

[leadplayer_vid id=”523B57A19D7B3″]

Alexis Avila Founder/President of Prepped & Polished offers advice on how to avoid careless mistakes on the SAT Sentence Error Questions on the SAT Writing Grammar Section.

Before circling an answer because it sounds wrong, come up with a valid replacement for the incorrect grammar.

Transcript (PDF)

Full Word-for-Word Transcription

Hi everyone, Alexis Avila found of Prepped and Polished LLC here in Boston.
Now 18 out of the 49 grammar questions on the SAT are sentence error
questions. What a lot of students do, of all levels, is they tend to read
the question, and then if something sounds funny in the sentence, they’ll
circle the answer and then they’ll just move on.

If you want to avoid careless mistakes on the sentence error portion of the
test, you have to work really methodically. So this is what I recommend
that you do with sentence error questions. You want to first read the
sentence and narrow in on the bad grammar.

So “Martha is the woman who sat on the couch.” that sounds pretty good,
“between you and I at the meeting, and who kept asking questions about
American Idol.” Well, we know that after a preposition between, you can’t
have the subject case pronoun after a preposition. So this is what I want
you to do. Instead of just choosing B because it sounds funny, I want you
to really know why we are going to choose B. So I want you to have a valid
replacement for the answer.

So after the preposition between, the pronoun shouldn’t be you and I, it
should be you and me. You need the object case form of the pronoun after a
preposition. So before you actually go ahead and choose B, I want you to
slash the incorrect answer, slash the mistake, and replace it with the
correct grammar. Then choose B and move on confidently through the sentence
error portion of the test. So do those things, and I guarantee you’re avoid
careless mistakes on the sentence errors.

I’ll talk to you soon.

Did you find this SAT Grammar tip helpful? What are some other ways to avoid careless grammar mistakes on the SAT?

Post your tips/comments below.

Subscribe to our Blog Feed

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

May 18th, 2011
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
SAT Grammar Writing
Comments (0)

Vincent T. (Natick, MA)

“I hired Alexis for my son for college prep and for SAT prep. He has helped him get a fantastic SAT score but more importantly I have seen many positive changes in my son. I would recommend him to anyone looking to get their son or daughter the best chance at getting into the college of their choice.”

April 25th, 2011
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
Comments (0)