Study Tips: Do’s and Don’ts for Test Success

How to prevent
self-sabotaging behavior

By Texas State SLAC

Keep calm and study on!

Last-minute studying can cause panic. Photo by digitalcole /

“I have never let schooling interfere with my education.” Mark Twain

Mark Twain teaches a good lesson: Students can get so caught up in making good grades that they forget to learn. Also, students can sabotage their success by using bad study techniques that further hinder their actual learning. Many of you know what you should and should not do before a test, but these tips will be good reminders.


1.     Pull all-nighters. Staying up ‘round the clock often results in not remembering what you were studying — and you may be unable to concentrate the next day. Plan ahead so you get studying done at a reasonable pace in the days leading up to the exam.

2.     Drink too much caffeine. This creates a high — and a crash — and compromises your sleep. A little caffeine isn’t bad; simply “drink in moderation.”

3.     Study with fun friends. “Fun” friends distract you. Study with those who as serious as you are or as you strive to be. Also, before a study session, learn the material so you’ll know the difference between correct and incorrect answers to questions. Sometimes study partners can be misinformed.

4.    Rely on adrenalin. Cramming may seem to work, but you are cheating yourself out of education you’re paying for. Take enough time before the test to absorb material so that you can build on it later.

5.     Remind yourself what’s at stake TOO often. While it’s important to remind yourself that tests and papers do matter, if doing so obsessively causes too much stress, tone down the pressure and try positive reinforcement instead. Reward yourself for studying with a movie, some candy, a manicure, a massage, or tubing and a picnic at the river.


1.   Remember to eat well, take vitamins, exercise and once again, sleep during the week. Nothing is as big a time-waster and grade-wrecker as illness!

2.   Get your flu shot. Click here for available dates of the Fall Flu Outreach on campus or call the Student Health Center at 512.245.2161 for more information.

Photo by digital cole /

One response to “Study Tips: Do’s and Don’ts for Test Success

  1. Thanks for sharing these useful do’s and don’ts that students need to follow in order to overcome exam anxiety. Developing good study habits definitely improves academic performance and lowers the anxiety that students often face.

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