Everyone knows that good study habits mean higher test scores.  Acquiring good study habits can seem like a challenge for those with busy schedules. However, planning out and organizing your study routine is much easier than you think. A few simple changes to one’s study plan can reap huge benefits for test scores and beyond. Whether you are studying for the TOEFL test in person or online, here are some useful tips that will maximize your potential for a high TOEFL score.

Use Class or Lecture Time Wisely
Studies have shown that taking notes the old-fashioned way, with a pen and paper, will help you focus and retain information you learn in class. Even if you don’t follow up or even look at the notes again, the simple act of writing down the notes will help you focus on the important facts and draw conclusions for better comprehension. For online learners, this means taking notes during the video lectures with the luxury of rewinding in case you missed something!Remember, while taking notes, avoid copying word for word. To comprehend and retain the information, use your own words.
Effective Time Management
Cramming may work in the short-term for smaller tests and assignments, but it will not work in the long-term. Planning your time out ahead of time and breaking down your study time into manageable chunks will help you actually learn and retain the information. This means you will be less likely to forget important concepts on test day! The first step in managing your time is to take care of yourself and get your beauty sleep. Spending the nights cramming tons of information in your mind for a big test could actually hurt your final test score. Your brain will get tired and you will not be able to remember the information you need for the test. Get enough sleep and let your mind rest, especially the night before a big test. The chances of getting a high test score will be much better if you wake up feeling refreshed.

The next step is to spread out your study time over several weeks, scheduling sessions of time each day along with plenty of breaks. If you are learning chunks or pieces of information one day at a time, your brain will have the time to absorb everything and you will be able to retain more in the long run.

Avoid Distractions
In this day and age, we are constantly connected to our smartphones and social media. While it may not seem like much of a distraction to quickly check your messages or status on social media, it is an interruption that will interfere with your learning and retention. Those minutes checking messages add up. The best approach is to schedule blocks of study time and then disconnect from your phone (or put it on silent) and social media during that time.  Try to find a quiet place to work where you will not be interrupted. Take regular breaks and move around. It’s hard to recover once we have lost focus, so it’s important to keep distractions to a minimum and to stick to a study schedule.

If you follow these simple tips, you may be surprised the next time you take the TOEFL test!