Exams can seem to be scary monsters but following proper study tips will help you over come and pass every exam! The most influential study tips are centered on dedication, organization, and customization. I have to admit that I have been a huge nerd since high school so my goal is to encourage you and provide you with some of the best tips that helped me over the years!
1. COLOR CODE YOUR NOTES
One of the best study tips is to color code everything: your notes as well as your planner. On my life coaching Youtube channel, I uploaded a video explaining how I organized my planner in school but to tell a long story short, tests would be pink, quizzes were blue, subjects were yellow, and green stood for due dates. I used this same color coding system with my notes to help me study: pink would be math equations I had to remember, yellow would be definitions, green would be important information discussed in class, and blue would be dates and references. You may find using colorful post-it notes, similar to the ones found at Office Monster, to be useful.
2. MANAGE YOUR TIME
Attempting to cram an entire semester’s worth of material into one night before a final exam or even trying to study 4 classes worth of material before a test, is close to impossible which is why you need to plan for your test ahead of time. Some people are more successful studying the night before an exam because cramming is their middle name, but I can tell you that if you simply cram and memorize, you will not learn and it will hurt you later. Space out your study sessions; study at least 2 or 3 nights before your exam.
3. VISIT PROFESSOR OFFICE HOURS
Professors do not bite, I promise. Some of them may be a bit scary but even if he/she is unapproachable, it’s a wise decision to go speak with him/her anyways. When I was in high school, I would meet with teachers after class to go over homework problems or look over chapters before a test. Similarly, while in college, I would basically stalk my professors and bug them via email until we found a good time to meet because I always needed to make sure I understood everything before a test!
4. HIGHLIGHT KEY POINTS IN YOUR BOOK
Some professors will allow textbooks to be used during an exam. If this is the structure for your exam, you better go and highlight all of the important things in that book! You absolutely need to develop a system with highlighting and sticky notes to get you to the answers as quickly as possible.
5. PRINT OUT SLIDESHOWS
How many professors actually stay on a slideshow long enough for you to write down everything? Probably not very many of them. If you’re a visual learner like me, it’s in your best interest to print out a copy of the slideshows and review your notes in addition to the slideshows. It helped me to draw pictures or re-write some of the notes in large font on the sides of the pages. The visual of the notes coming to life helped me remember a lot better.
6. CREATE A STUDY PLAN
To elaborate on a study plan, I would advise scheduling a time to meet with a group to go over material as well as designating alone time to study and review notes. The library can get booked and packed very quickly (I would know because I worked there for 3 years) so make sure to plan at least a day or two with a group of friends from class to study. Sometimes hearing your own voice or the voice of someone else going through notes will help the material stick in your mind. As I mentioned before, plan out 2 to 3 days before the exam and hit the books!
7. USE PRACTICE EXAMS
Practice exams are God’s gift to students…USE THEM. Professors don’t intentionally try to ruin your lives with difficult exams…at least not all of them do! If he/she gives out a practice exam before the actual exam, take it very seriously because chances are very high that the real one will be close to the practice one. Doodle on a practice exam, color code, highlight, and try every study tip and method!
So now that you have a ton of colorful pages basically blinding you as you’re trying to read through your notes, repeat the key points of each chapter again and again. I would honestly read one page and then read a second page of notes and then skim the first one all over again. It was a process but it worked because I engraved the material into my mind. It’s amazing how repetition can be such a powerful study tip.
9. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!
Ah, procrastination…such a beautiful and ugly thing. This goes without saying (but I’m going to say it anyways) don’t procrastinate while you’re studying! Sure a study break every now and then is needed otherwise your brain would turn to mush, but as your highlighting/color coding/and working on doing/repeating practice exams, allot an hour or two just going over information. Then give yourself that well deserved break!
Whether you’re studying for a small test, an exam, or a final, these study tips will always serve as a guide in helping you study and pass! Remember what I said earlier: passing exams requires dedication, organization, and customization – so understand your learning curve, stick to the plan, and go forth you Super Star! Which tips helped you most?