A Student’s Guide to Summer Test Prep

Tiffany Sorensen, Varsity Tutors' Contributor

June 08, 2016

A Student’s Guide to Summer Test Prep
You can prep for your exams while still enjoying your summer vacation - here's how.
Test prep may be the last item on your agenda for the summer. Nonetheless, it is the perfect season to prepare for tests without the worry of cutting into homework time. Summer test prep does not imply you have to spend less time doing the outdoor activities you love. Here is how you can get ready for tests and still have a wonderful summer vacation:

1. Study while enjoying the weather

No student is thrilled about the idea of sacrificing precious time in the beautiful summertime weather to study for upcoming tests. The good news is that you can study and enjoy your summer at the same time. There is no reason to not bring along your study materials to the pool or the beach, but you should be properly prepared for doing work in an outdoor environment.
First, be sure to bring along adequate sunglasses to avoid hurting your eyes from squinting to read in the sun. Second, you may also wish to bring an umbrella to make reading easier. Third, consider using index cards rather than books. Books can be heavy and collect sand; it is more convenient to bring a stack of index cards that can be easily transported and brushed off. If you will be reviewing math, you can use the calculator feature on your phone to avoid having to bring another object. Finally, pack plenty of fluids to keep you hydrated and ready to retain information.

2. Check out your library

You likely know that libraries are an excellent center of resources for endless subjects—including many of the areas you’re probably studying in your test prep. Some even offer informal study groups or discussion sessions in which you can participate, so they do not have to detract greatly from your summer vacation. Now is a great time to reap the benefits of your tax dollars at a library that is close to your house. Look around your local library’s website, make a call to the reference desk, and sign up for any newsletters they may have to stay informed. Keep your eyes open when you pass bulletin boards that may advertise summer learning programs. Your high school librarian may also have information about similar programs nearby, so inquire at your school before the current term ends.

3. Utilize online resources

It is common for students to travel over the summer, go away to camp, and get involved with internships and volunteer opportunities, which can make committing to a rigid schedule nearly impossible. If this applies to you, you may be more inclined to rely on online resources to prepare for your test. The beauty of online prep materials is that they can be accessed 24/7 and from virtually anywhere with internet access. You can sit down to do online test prep at night or when there is poor weather, so you do not feel like you are missing out on fun daytime events.
If you are going to approach summer test prep all by yourself, self-discipline and time management will be especially essential. Try to make a schedule where you dedicate certain times and/or days to test prep. Then, post it in a place where it is visible so you are more likely to remember it and feel accountable. Summer test prep does not have to be torture! There are ways to chip away at your study plans and still make the most of your time off from school. By bringing your materials outside with you, visiting your local library, and turning to online resources, you can return to school in September being rested and prepared for testing.

Tiffany Sorensen is a professional tutor and contributing writer with Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.

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