Thinking is an essential cognitive process that allows individuals to analyze and solve problems, understand information, and make decisions. There are a variety of types of thinking employed by different people. Critical thinking involve analyzing and evaluating information, while creative thinking entails developing original ideas.

When it comes to test-taking, many students believe that success is solely based on memorization. However, thinking critically is just as important. Instead of simply memorizing information, students should also focus on understanding and analyzing the material. This means breaking down complex concepts into smaller pieces and using logical reasoning to connect them.

While memorization may help in some cases, it can also hinder a student's ability to think critically during a test. Relying solely on memorized information may cause a student to panic if they encounter a question that requires more than just regurgitation of facts. By developing critical thinking skills alongside strong memory recall abilities, students will be better equipped to handle any type of question that comes their way.

Overall, successful test-taking involves both memorization and critical thinking. Students who prioritize both skills are likely to perform well on exams and retain information for the long-term rather than simply cramming for short-term results.

Study Guides and Strategy Resources

Types of Thinking

Radical thought means challenging norms and questioning conventional beliefs, and even the simple act of thinking aloud or in a group, as in brainstorming, can serve as a strategy to find the best decisions for any scenario. Brainstorming is a group technique for creating new ideas. All forms of thinking can play a vital part in the learning process and should be seen as essential skills both academically and beyond. While planning for college or pursuing an online degree, you will be challenged to think critically and take many tests to obtain your bachelorette diploma.

Thinking Critically

Critical thinking refers to the practice of systematically analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing information to form reasoned judgments based on evidence. Critical thinking is an invaluable skill that enables individuals to solve complex problems and make sound decisions in many spheres of life: education, career advancement, and personal relationships. However, it should not be treated as an inborn talent, but instead developed through training and practice.

Critical thinking's origins can be found in ancient Greece, where philosophers like Socrates and Aristotle emphasized its value through questioning and reasoning, leading to a great period of learning. Later, in the 20th century, educational theorists such as John Dewey and Robert Ennis developed a framework for critical thinking that includes competencies such as analysis, interpretation, inference evaluation, and explanation as core concepts needed for effective reasoning. These are known as components of critical thinking.

However, critical thinking requires more than the components alone; it also relies on certain dispositions, or mental habits, that contribute to its execution. These include open-mindedness, intellectual humility, curiosity, and skepticism. When fostered, these can enable individuals to evaluate evidence objectively while considering different points of view.

Numerous educational methods have been demonstrated to develop critical thinking abilities. One such technique is dialogue, an active and respectful communication method aimed at reaching mutual understanding. Another approach is anchoring instruction, which integrates critical thinking tasks into meaningful contexts such as real-world problems. And mentorship, in which experienced individuals instruct learners in critical thinking, has also proven itself effective.

However, critical thinking remains controversial, particularly its generalizability across domains. Critical thinking skills required in one field may not readily transfer to others, potentially leaving minority perspectives unconsidered. Furthermore, some experts argue that critical thinking differs significantly from creativity or other forms of thinking and should instead be seen as part of an integrated skill set.

Radical Thinking

Thinking is not a singular activity; rather, we use different kinds of thinking skills depending on our current circumstances including critical, reflective, radical thinking, and more. One form that deserves special mention is radical thinking.

Radical thinking involves deviating from traditional or conventional thought and challenging long-held assumptions and beliefs. It encourages us to question the status quo and seek novel, inventive solutions to problems. Radical thinking may often be necessary when faced with situations requiring extreme transformations or change, or when testing long-held assumptions.

History provides numerous examples of radical thinking leading to positive results. Consider the Civil Rights movement in the US during the mid-20th century: radical thinkers challenged the belief that white people were superior to people of color and campaigned for equal rights. Their non-violent activism eventually produced significant progress and helped to foster an equitable society.

Radical thinking has long been at the core of scientific progress. Galileo Galilei sparked an astonishing revolution when he disproved of the widespread belief that Earth was at the center of everything by proposing instead that its orbit centered around sun; his groundbreaking theory opened new fields of scientific study and exploration.

Fostering radical thinking in yourself is vital in today's ever-evolving world, especially given how fast things change. To achieve this goal, one must remain open to new ideas and perspectives, challenge their own assumptions as well as those of others, and take risks to discover innovative solutions to problems. All of these are essential steps toward developing radical thought in oneself.


When used correctly, brainstorming can be an invaluable asset in problem-solving. Brainstorming consists of gathering new ideas and solutions for an issue while encouraging creative thinking and innovative approaches in a group format. This is an integral component of many projects and should not be underestimated.

Brainstorming allows individuals or groups to think outside the box and come up with creative, innovative solutions they might otherwise not consider. By cultivating an environment that fosters open-mindedness, teams can achieve what might have seemed impossible before.

There are various techniques for brainstorming, but three of the more popular are free-writing, mind-mapping, and group brainstorming sessions. Free-writing allows individuals to quickly write down any thoughts that come to them without restriction or limitations, mind-mapping provides visual visualizations to explore all potential connections among ideas, and group brainstorming sessions allow individuals to share their perspectives, leading to collaborative solutions from more diverse sources.

When conducting a brainstorm session, it's essential to set clear goals and guidelines to maximize its efficiency and effectiveness. Participants should be encouraged to contribute, regardless of perceived viability and all ideas must be welcomed regardless of perceived viability; any form of negativity or criticism must be avoided as these can hinder idea generation and potentially stifle creativity.

Thinking Like a Genius

Thinking like a genius involves more than simply being book smart; it involves adopting specific habits and techniques used by highly intelligent individuals when approaching problems or tasks. Genius thinking requires an unconventional method for analyzing and solving issues compared to regular thinking techniques. This usually involves the use of one or more forms of advanced thinking.

One of the hallmarks of genius thinking is challenging assumptions. When approaching challenges, highly intelligent individuals tend to question assumptions taken for granted by others, asking themselves "why" and "what if?" to get to the root of any issue or difficulty they encounter. By questioning assumptions, you are more likely to create unique and innovative solutions for complex issues.

Genius thinking often involves approaching challenges from multiple angles. Instead of doing things in the same manner every time, you should look at issues from various perspectives to find optimal solutions. Don't fear experimenting and trying something new, even if it means taking risks!

Geniuses don't fear new ideas and remain open-minded to feedback and criticism. They aren't fixed in their ways and willing to consider different points of view. Famous geniuses, such as Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking, are widely respected for their unique problem-solving capabilities. Einstein was known to approach issues from multiple angles, while Hawking had the unique skill of challenging assumptions and looking beyond what was already known.

Memorizing and Retaining Information Strategies

Memorizing and retaining information are both vital parts of achieving excellent grades on exams, but there are numerous proven and efficient strategies to make memorizing and retention simple and stress-free. Flashcards and mnemonic devices can help people to easily remember facts and dates by providing the information in an engaging but repetitive fashion. A flashcard may present facts in an easy, enjoyable format, while using creative or humorous phrases can also aid memorization efforts. Study sessions and routines are essential in helping us retain information as they keep the mind organized and focused. Acronyms help condense long phrases into shorter, more memorable ones, while using rhymes adds an element of creativity. Review tools of all kinds can be effective. Here are some options that may come in handy:

  • 1. Flashcards:

    Perhaps one of the oldest review tools, flashcards allow you to condense information into manageable chunks. Creating flashcards by hand using index cards or various online tools is straightforward and using them regularly and actively will yield optimal results. Instead of passively looking through each card, flip it over and recall its information before flipping back over when finished to check answers.

  • 2. Mnemonics:

    For those struggling to memorize lists or sequences, mnemonics can be an effective memory aid. Mnemonics are memory tricks that make recalling information easy by linking it with an easy-to-recall phrase or image. For instance, to remember the order of our solar system's planets you could use "My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nachos" as a mnemonic (which corresponds with Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune).

  • 3. Study Sessions:

    When it comes to learning, group collaboration can often be a helpful approach. Join a study group for joint reviews of material, quiz each other, discuss difficult concepts, and compare notes as needed - just make sure the group stays on task by not getting too distracted by socializing! This solution will not work for everyone as some people study better on their own and can become distracted by others in a group.

  • 4. Acronyms:

    Like mnemonics, acronyms help condense complex information into an easy-to-remember phrase. Acronyms can be especially effective at helping us recall long lists as each letter corresponds with an item from that list. For instance, you might remember using "ROYGBIV" (for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet) as an acronym to help remember the order of the rainbow when you were young!

For optimal use of these review tools, it's crucial to utilize them regularly and actively. Don't wait until the night before an exam to start studying. Instead, regularly review material throughout the semester using these tools as reinforcement mechanisms. By doing this, you'll increase retention of information and perform better on tests.

Test-Taking Strategies and Tips

Exam anxiety can be a source of great discomfort for students. To address this challenge, there are various test taking strategies and tips available that can help you tackle test day more confident and prepared; from organizing materials and managing anxiety levels, to reviewing tools for true/false multiple choice and short answer exams, we’ll cover various techniques designed to prepare you for exams, as well as strategies that can improve your test taking abilities, whether you're studying for a big exam or just hoping to improve them further.

How to Prepare for a Standardized Test

Standardized tests are exams designed to measure academic proficiency in an objective way. They play an essential role in monitoring students' academic development and foretelling future success in school. While regular exams assess performance during any given school day, standardized exams track how a student has improved over time, thus giving standardized exams greater weight compared to regular tests. Obtaining maximum results from standardized tests require that crucial preparation take place.

To succeed on a standardized test, it's essential to employ effective and efficient study strategies. A good way to do so is through practice tests. Practice exams provide a glimpse of the test format and question types, and they allow time management skills development, which is often an aspect of taking standardized exams that may prove challenging. You can obtain practice tests from teachers or online resources.

Creating a study schedule is another effective strategy that can help you prepare for standardized exams. Sticking to your study plan and seeking clarity from teachers when something becomes challenging are essential parts of successful exam prep.

Organizing your study materials is another key to properly preparing for a standardized test. Staying organized ensures you won't misplace or mislay key notes. You can create a study folder or use an online storage service like Drobox to store all your notes and practice tests. This way, your materials stay together so you have all the necessary resources at hand when studying!

Preparing for a standardized test can be stressful, and the anxiety surrounding test taking can have a devastating impact on performance. To manage test anxiety effectively, it's essential to take good care of yourself by getting enough rest, eating well, and exercising. Deep breathing techniques, visualization, and positive self-talk may also be useful if you’re feeling anxious. You can arrive early at your test site to reduce rushing which increases anxiety levels further.

Optimizing test-taking efficiency is of utmost importance when taking a standardized exam. Time management is vital, and understanding your allotted time per question should not be overlooked. For maximum efficiency, you can answer easy questions first and go back over the more difficult questions later.

Overcoming Test Anxiety

Students often struggle with exam anxiety. Unfortunately, this can have a devastating impact on their performance during exams, leading to lower grades and a loss of faith in their abilities. However, there are strategies available that can help combat such test anxiety when preparing, especially for memorization-based exams.

Establishing a study schedule is one effective strategy. Doing so allows students to avoid the stress associated with last minute studying, while digesting information more slowly and increasing retention rates. Students looking to boost memorization should utilize study tools like flashcards and mnemonics or rhymes in their studies. Flashcards can help students quickly memorize vocabulary or formulas while mnemonics help students recall longer phrases more easily. All these tools can easily fit into an individual study plan as they're easily adaptable for different learning styles.

You should also take breaks during your studying process to prevent burnout. Prolonged study sessions without rest can lead to fatigue, stress, and decreased performance. Exercise can also help alleviate anxiety; physical activity releases endorphins, which act as natural mood boosters that can ease anxiety levels. And, on test day, it’s crucial to arrive early to avoid last-minute stresses like traffic or delays.

True/False Test Tips

True/false tests are an increasingly popular testing format utilized by schools and universities. Though initially appearing simple, true/false tests require more than mere recognition - you must analyze and understand what question(s) are really being posed to you to do well on these exams. Here are some strategies to improve performance on true/false tests.

Begin by carefully reading each question. True/false tests are designed to challenge you, so don't rush through them. Take your time analyzing what each question really requires of you - sometimes such queries contain double negatives, which require extra attention when answering.

Before beginning an exam, it can be helpful to review all its questions to gain an overview of its subject matter and to prepare mentally for taking it. Furthermore, doing this may give you confidence when one question comes up that is familiar, giving a boost for taking the rest of the test. Additionally, there may be words or phrases that jog your memory as a whole, allowing you to do better on the test.

As with most tests, it's also essential not to spend too much time on any one question. If unsure about an answer, move on immediately as true/false tests tend to be timed; don't get stuck on one and run out of time before answering all the questions!

Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) Exams Tips

Multiple choice tests are an integral component of many standardized exams such as the SAT, ACT, and GRE exams, with these exams often considered pivotal in shaping one's career goals and creating significant amounts of stress for test takers who lack adequate strategies to address them. With the right strategies in place, however, anyone can improve their scores and increase their chance for success.

First, it’s essential to understand how multiple-choice questions work. These types of tests typically start off with a question providing context, then a list of options from which test takers may select one correct answer. Incorrect choices will be presented alongside the correct options, which will mislead those who are unsure about the right response. This makes developing specific strategies for dealing with multiple choice tests essential.

First, read questions carefully. Pay special attention to the question, paying close attention for keywords like "never", "always", "most", "least", or "except". Next, eliminate any obviously incorrect answers quickly; this often leaves only two or three choices from which to select an answer.

Another strategy is to look for clues in other questions. Sometimes, multiple questions cover similar content and one could give an indication as to what answer will apply in another question. But be careful; don't assume all answers will be similar, use critical thinking and evaluation techniques to arrive at an accurate solution.

Focusing on keywords can help. Sometimes, a single word in a question can make all the difference; if you're uncertain of an answer, try replacing each option with its corresponding keyword until one makes more sense than others.

If all else fails, educated guesses may be the only solution. When faced with no clear-cut solutions and being left uncertain of your choice, don't leave the question unanswered. Use your intuition and any remaining clues in the question to make an educated guess. However, make sure your time management skills are still in play; otherwise, you could miss crucial points elsewhere.

Short Answer Tests Tips

For success on short answer tests, each question must be approached carefully and thoughtfully. Take your time reading over each question carefully, paying special attention to any details mentioned or requested within it. Highlighting or underlining can help narrow your focus and ensure you don't overlook key information.

Answer the questions directly and succinctly, using specific keywords relevant to the topic at hand. Provide clear, accurate, and detailed descriptions so that you can obtain full credit for your answers. Often, short answer tests grade responses according to accuracy, so it’s wise to pay close attention when wording answers.

Make sure that you use proper punctuation and grammar in your responses, even if you know the answers to a question. Your instructor might not understand if your message doesn't adhere to standard sentence structure, so taking time to craft well-written responses will enhance the clarity of your answers and get you credit where due.