Preparing Your Study Guide
First you have to gather together all the sources you’ll need. Then, from each source pull out the most important information you need to know for the test. These sources include:
Notes: If you have class notes, they can be a valuable asset. Don’t just put everything from your notes onto the study guide, though. Go through and highlight or mark everything in your notes that you think is especially important. Focus on big ideas and main concepts, things you still don’t understand, and key words you’ll have to be able to define. The same goes for any in-class handouts you’ve received.
Textbook: If you have a textbook, go through the sections you had to read for class and do the same thing you did with the class notes. Look at chapter and section headings to determine what the main ideas are from the readings—those are things you’ll want in your study guide. Also pay attention to bold or italicized key words, and to end-of-chapter questions and/or summaries.
Homework assignments: These can help you figure out what your teacher feels is most important. If it’s on the homework, chances are it will be on the test. Pay special attention to anything you got wrong—that’s information you’ll definitely want to include in your study guide.
Previous tests: Past tests are helpful in two ways. If you’re going to be tested on the same information again, a past test will let you know what you still need to study. But even if the next test has nothing to do with the old one, the old test shows you the kinds of questions your teacher asks and the kinds of information he or she focuses on.