This time of year can be stressful and overwhelming for students, handling one exam can be challenging but when you have four or five subjects and all their exams fall around the same time it can be overwhelming. This was one of my challenges during my first year, not only did I have to juggle multiple exams in a short period of time but I also had to teach myself how to study. The last few nights I been hitting the books hard while I study for a final exam in a few weeks, but I thought I would take a break and share some study tips that has helped me along the way.
Know Your Three S
The three S that are important to studying or style, setting and supplies. There are many different learning styles in the classroom and knowing your learning style is key to studying. When you have an understanding of how you process information you can plan a study strategy that best fits your strengths. Just like in real estate location is key. People are able to focus and concentrate in different locations. Some people prefer complete silence others may enjoy being surrounded by other people in a library/coffee shop find a setting that is best for you. Supplies, when you start a study session make sure you have all the tools you need. Pencil, pen , textbook, paper, snacks etc. This may seem basic but many students forget these critical items.
Plan ahead do not procrastinate.
Even though mid-terms can creep up on students they should be no surprise. Review notes and study weeks before the exam so you do not have to burn yourself out studying later on. It is a great habit to review your notes regularly. Rotate a study schedule where you review notes for your challenging courses first and the stronger subjects later. It is always a great practice to start by completing the most challenging tasks first. Also, I am against procrastination do not wait until the last minute to study and neither should you. Cramming information in your head at the last minute only causes more harm than good. Tip: The brain learns seven new facts at a time. So make sure you give yourself enough time to absorb the knowledge fully.
Some situations the teacher may tell students the exam format or what to study. If you are lucky to know what is going to be asked or expected of your, give yourself a practice exam. Create a few questions to answer and practice writing your answers in the same time period you will be given. If you have a multiple choice exam. Write out all the information and facts that you know in the same given period of time. After, compare your answers with the textbook or peers. By practicing the exam you help to prepare your mind mentally for the task, just how like a athletes train to condition their muscle for their sport. Train your mind. I suggest doing this at least twice to allow yourself the time to correct your mistakes further study any areas and seek help if you need it. Practice exams are a great way to develop a mental strategy for taking the exam.
Ask For Help
Do not struggle on your own if there is something you are not sure about seek help and get clarity. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many students do not ask for help. Visit your professor or teaching assistant during the scheduled office hours and discuss any concerns you may have one on one. Or if you are working in a study group ask your peers, chances are someone in your group as the correct answer and you may have theirs as well too.
Studying for exams does not have to be frustrating and stressful. At the end of the day, you are truly ready for your test when you are able to teach or explain the information to someone else. However, you decided to prepare for the test make sure it is an effective method that you are comfortable and happy with.