High school may have been easy. You understood your study habits, and you probably had a good idea of what you needed to do to succeed on tests. However, freshman students are often thrown for a loop when they start taking college exams. Often, there’s a lot more material covered and the tests are longer form. This may sound intimidating, but using the following strategies on your high school exams will help you get some practice before you begin college.

Start early

In high school, you may have only needed to review for tests the night before. But college exams typically test several weeks’ worth of material at a time. How can you possibly review and retain everything in one night?

The trick is to start early and spread your studying time over days or even weeks depending on the amount of material being tested. You’ll know ahead of time if there are particular areas you need to work on and have time to improve. You’ll still have time to find a tutor or talk to your professor if you’re stuck. Don’t leave your studying to the last minute to ensure that you get the grade you want.

Use the tools of successful college students

Memorizing and reiterating notes may not be helpful when you prepare for a comprehensive exam. At this point, you need to know the material inside and out.

Look online for flashcard tools, studying apps and practice tests. There is something available for every type of learner. Many common or core classes have study guides for each exam, and many of them are free. You can even use traditional study methods, like writing flashcards by hand or rewriting your notes. The important thing is to do what will help you learn best. However, if you choose to spend time making study tools, make sure you leave yourself enough time to implement them.

Form a study group

Group work gets a bad reputation, but it can actually be valuable when it comes to preparing for an exam. Consider practicing with a study group so you can get used to what it takes to work with others. As an added benefit, you can divide the workload and you’ll have help if you have difficulty with anything. And you’ll never feel alone if you’re unable to grasp a concept; teammates who study with you understand your challenges and can make for great support groups. Keep in mind, everyone has the same goal: learn the material and pass the class.

Ask questions

Students can be too shy to ask questions – especially in a large lecture hall in front of their peer. The truth is, other students will likely have the same question, so don’t be afraid to speak up. Use class time to get your questions answered so you aren’t struggling later when you’re studying for the test.

If you’re having difficulty with anything, ask your teacher for help after class. This will be good practice for going to office hours in college. Professors reserve time every week to be available to help answer questions, so take advantage of the opportunity. If your class has teaching assistants, they can be a wealth of knowledge, so you should also reach out to them if you need help.

Trying out these tactics now will give you the practice you need for college and the chance to learn what works for you. When it comes time to take your first college exams, you’ll know you have a strategy you can count on.