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Studying for Exams

July 18, 2016

Learn about six tips for studying for exams.

You can probably think of hundreds of reasons why you don’t like studying.  And when exam time rolls around, so do the excuses for why you don’t have time to study.  But letting excuses keep you from studying is a mistake.  Exams are used to assess your comprehension of the material you learn in class, and they are a big factor in your overall grade.  Studying for exams is critical to earning good grades and achieving academic success.  Here are six tips to help you study for your next exam.

Review Your Notes/Previous Assignments

Prior to the exam, review your notes from the class and previous assignments you have completed.  This is the material you will be tested on.  Be sure you understand all of the concepts.  Fill in any gaps as necessary.  If you don’t understand the information you will be tested on, get help in advance, so you are prepared on exam day.

Create a Study Guide

Use your notes and information from previous assignments to create a study guide for your upcoming test.  Developing a study guide when you’re studying for exams, gives you a single, comprehensive resource that has all of the information you need to know in one place.  Creating the actual guide reinforces the information you’ve learned.  Once it’s complete, use it to review all of the concepts you will be tested on.

Be sure it’s in a format that makes sense to you.  When you’re frantically taking notes in class, it’s hard to keep them organized.  As you create your study guide, organize the information and put it in a format that works for you.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

Waiting until the night before the exam to start studying is never a good idea.  It puts a lot of pressure on you and creates unnecessary stress.  Begin studying for exams a week or two before the test to be adequately prepared.  This will ensure you have enough time to review all of the information, fill in any gaps you have and get help if you need it.  It will also help you retain the information you’re studying.

Choose the Right Environment

When it’s time to study, select an area that’s quiet and free of distractions.  There shouldn’t be a television, ringing phone or people talking in the background.  There should be no distractions so you can focus all of your energy on studying.

Schedule Study Breaks

While it’s important to buckle down and focus when you’re studying for exams, it’s also important to schedule breaks, so you don’t get burned out.  Establish regular intervals when you will take a break.  Walk around for a few minutes, stretch or get a drink of water.  This will give you a chance to regroup and clear your mind, so you can make the most out of your studying session.

Have Someone Quiz You

As the day of the exam approaches, have someone quiz you on the material.  It will reinforce what you’ve been studying and help you identify areas that still need work.
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