Tips for Superstar Test-Taking

by René Battelle, Teen Librarian, Central Library, Downtown Syracuse

Don’t be afraid of those exams, conquer them!

#5 Get Sleep

If you want to keep good study habits, sleep is super important. Many students try to stay up all night to study or cram for tests, but getting sleep is one of the best ways to help yourself do well on that important exam.

#4 Take Breaks

When you are studying, make sure you give yourself 10-minute breaks, take a short walk, stretch, or get a snack. And know when to stop! If you are too tired to keep your eyes open, close your books for the night.

#3 Be Organized

Keep a schedule on paper or online of your important exam dates. It might be a good idea to keep a planner, and also set reminders on your phone or computer. When you study, use flashcards or other study helpers.

#2 Don’t Worry Too Much

It’s important to do well in school, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Focus on working hard and doing well, but don’t worry if you don’t get as high a grade as you’re hoping for. Talk to your advisor or teacher about your worries and get extra help. If you feel so much pressure it’s starting to interfere with your life, make sure you talk to your family or plan down-time with friends to help cope with test-taking stress.

#1 Use the Library!

Get to know the library and your librarians, and use the Teen Space for studying and stress relief. Even though you might not talk to anyone while in the library, just being around others who are studying and hanging out can help relieve your stress.

Teens in the library

Library Resources

Studying for a big test? We have books and databases to help you!

  • Search our online catalog to find the following titles in print and ebook formats:
    • The Official SAT Study Guide – Includes 4 practice tests
    • Cracking the SAT – Proven score-raising techniques and drills for all subjects
    • Barron’s Regents Exams and Answers – We have books for all subject areas
    • The Real ACT Prep Guide – Includes 3 practice tests
    • Think Reading by Dr. Roger Farr – Use the “Think-Along” process to improve reading comprehension and test-taking skills
    • Test-Taking Power Strategies – Improve your study strategies and test skills
    • 5 Steps to a 5 – Improve your essay writing skills for the AP English exam
    • Admission Matters by Sally Springer – Information for students and parents on the SATs and getting into college
    • 101 Ways to Score Higher on your SAT Reasoning Test by Marti Anne Maguire – Tips for how to improve your score and write better essays
    • McGraw-Hill’s 500 Questions – This series helps you strengthen math skills
    • With your OCPL library card and PIN you can access Learning Express Library, an online resource where you can find tons of practice tests. We also provide access to, a place to go where you can learn a variety of skills for free. Just go to our website and click “Research” to find this and other great tools for school.

Online Resources