How to Study for a Science Test: 10 Effective Tips

Gone are your primary school science days of creating a solar system out of styrofoam balls and wooden dows. By now you’ve learned the simple rule of evolution for high school science classes–they’re more difficult now than when you were younger. 

Because of this, your strategies for studying science should also evolve. Think of it like natural selection for your study habits. Some study methods need to evolve, while others are extinct for you now. 

Knowing all the different ways you can study for a science test will help keep you on top of the grade food chain! That’s why we’ve put together 10 top tips for studying science so you can do your best on the next test!

1. Make a Study Plan

Lost in a studying sea of chemical reactions? No idea what the difference is between decomposition and double replacement? Unsure what your class notes or study guides even mean? Time to make a study plan!

Creating a study plan that works for you is the first step if you want to level up your science grade–and improve your understanding. Make the planning part short and sweet. Spend most of your time studying and understanding the material.

Here are a few top tips for getting your study plan off on the right foot:

  • Compile and organise your class notes and resources for the material you’ll be tested on next.
  • Consider using the Pomodoro Method of studying to improve your focus:
    • Step 1: Take out your study materials.
    • Step 2: Set a timer for 25 minutes.
    • Step 3: Study until your timer rings.
    • Step 4: Take a five-minute break.
    • Step 5: Lather, rinse, and repeat.
  • Prioritise what you’ll need to study. Spend more time on the difficult concepts and less time on topics you already know well.
  • Don’t burn out trying to understand a topic that seems impossible. Instead, ask for help from a parent, guardian, classmate, or a high school science tutor.

2. Create a Distraction-Free Study Space

Do you have a bedroom all to yourself? If not, you may need to study while your sibling is in the room. Or, even worse, you might have to study in the lounge room, where the family is watching Telly.

Studying in a noisy environment isn’t ideal. Instead, find ways to get into the study mindset. Start with creating a distraction-free study space. That means–no TV, video games, devices, other people hanging out, or other loud or distracting sounds. Believe it or not, science tells us that studying in a distraction-free environment can improve your concentration!

3. Review Your Class Notes

One of our top tips when studying for a science test is to review your class and lab notes. Make sure your notes are as complete and thorough as possible. So, avoid shortcuts. 

Think about it this way–you’ve been thinking about and writing the material in your own words for a portion of the term. Revisiting those notes can improve your memory and understanding of the material. You were pre-exam prepping all along!

4. Consistency Is Key When Studying Science

We know science isn’t the only course you’re taking right now. As busy as you are, it may be tempting to cram for your science test the night before. Cramming is the last thing you want to do!

Instead, be consistent when studying, so that you build your knowledge and understanding of the material. While your short-term goal is to ace the exam, you’ll want to consider the big picture, too! In the not-so-distant future, you may want to study science at university or later pursue a career in STEM or STEAM. So, stick to a steady and consistent pace!

5. Use Your Resources to Answer Tough Questions

As you advance in the sciences, the material only becomes more difficult. And like most [if not all of us], you may feel stuck. Asking for extra help is a valuable study skill [not to mention a life skill]!

Consider hitting up the following sources when you hit a study roadblock:

  • Scour the Internet for extra resources, worksheets, YouTube videos, and more. 
  • Consider picking your science teacher’s brain during lunch break or after school.
  • Form a study group with your friends or partner up with a classmate who has a solid grasp of science.

6. Aim to Understand, not Memorise Science Information

While memorisation is an important part of learning science, it may only be a stepping stone to truly understanding a concept.

Some concepts can’t be learned by heart. Instead, you’ll need to step back and work through the problems or processes. That way, you end up understanding them–not just memorising them for the exam.

7. Take Breaks While Studying

Sure, studying is necessary, but it’s equally vital to take breaks when you’re studying. Whether you use the Pomodoro Method we mentioned earlier or take a set break every hour you study, you’ll want to rest your brain.

Studying too much can lead to burnout. That type of mental and physical exhaustion won’t help you understand the material. So, commit to taking a short break, say after every hour of studying, to avoid this.

8. Make Science Flashcards

Biology Flash Cards – Maisie Williams

Are you more of a visual learner? We recommend making flashcards to help you memorise scientific formulas and more. Rather than using store-bought flashcards or some that your classmate made, it’s better to create them using words or pictures customised for you. 

This way, you can use colour coding, graphics or terms/vocab that make sense to your understanding of the material. Bonus tip–creating these cards can give you a much-needed break from studying your science textbook or class notes. Just don’t spend too much time with the artsy process.

9. Get Hands-On with Experiments

Sometimes, you’ll find science concepts are best understood by getting your hands dirty–and not just by studying your textbook. So, if you have the opportunity to draw a concept/cycle or experiment with simple [and safe] household items to better your understanding, then go for it.

We recommend asking your teacher for guidance here. See what they recommend. This may improve your understanding of the concept, especially if you’re a kinaesthetic learner.

10. Test Your Knowledge Before Your Science Exam

You’ve got two nights before your science exam. So, it’s time to take a self-assessment and test your knowledge of the material. That means figuring out what you have a grasp on and what you still need to study.

The point is not to have a perfect understanding of the material, either. Instead, think of pre-testing your knowledge as a trial run to the exam. Doing this–ideally a few days before the exam– can help you figure out which areas you still need to improve on–so you can take the rest of the time leading up to the exam to focus on those issues.


Learn How to Study for Your Next Science Test in No Time!

Science isn’t the easiest subject to learn. You’ll likely come across a lot of roadblocks while studying. Simply put–understanding science takes time. So, be consistent, and know that you can leap over any studying obstacles that get in your way.

When you feel you’ve done everything you can do, that’s when it’s time to lean on your resources. Ask your teacher for help or create a science study group with your friends. You can even get one-on-one help from a professional science tutor–who can tap into what you need to improve on in a way that works best for you.

Looking to learn how to study for your next science test? A Team Tuition is here to help. With our tried-and-true tutoring methods, we can help you excel at science with our at-home and online tutoring. Find a tutor near you today!