The first exam of the semester is just around the corner, and you know what that means: studying. Studying for exams can be difficult and time-consuming, but luckily there are some great ways to study more effectively. When you’re studying for your next exam, it’s essential to find a balance between revising what you’ve already learned and new material. If you only review old material, there is a good chance that you will forget some of the information by the time your test rolls around. On the other hand, if all you do is learn new material, then chances are that when it comes time to take the test, many of those facts will be unfamiliar and hard to recall. Here are 5 of my favorite tips on how to do so!
- Find your learning style: Knowing your learning style can make a huge difference when it comes to studying. While everyone learns in their unique way and pace, there are three general categories that most people fall into: audial, visual, or physical. For example, some people learn most effectively when they listen to lectures. Others prefer to read over their notes several times before writing down essential information in their own words. And still, others like to create a visual study guide with pictures, graphs, and charts. Find out which of these methods works best for you and use it consistently while studying for your next exam.
- Download podcasts: For studying on the go, podcasts are the best option as they are readily available on your phone, are available on diverse subjects and topics, are accessible anywhere as and when you have time, and are also available in both audio and video format.
- Use flashcards to memorize: Flashcards are incredibly effective ways of studying because you can use them to analyse key terms, definitions, and learn everywhere and at any time. They also help you memorize information quickly because most flashcards are formatted, making learning and remembering new information easy. Make sure that you use a variety of different kinds of flashcards when you’re studying for your exams, such as picture-based cards, definition cards, and question & answer flashcards
- Make a study schedule: It’s easy to get distracted when you’re studying for your next exam, but you will be less likely to waste time and procrastinate if you have a schedule in place. Set some realistic goals for yourself, and then stick to the schedule that you made to keep you accountable and on task. If you don’t have enough time in one set to review all of the material you will need for your exam, then make a new schedule with more time at another point in the day.
- Jot down running notes and practice notes: Take notes in different colors or fonts to stay organized and help you to remember what is essential. If you are using a computer to take notes, always type your letters and don’t use the word processor’s default font or paper color because it could contribute to information being lost in the background. Decide what kind of notes work best for you when you’re studying for exams. Taking notes while learning can be beneficial, but it will also depend on your learning style and how easily you retain information. For example, some students retain information better if they write down their notes, while others are visual learners who listen to the lecture.
- Get enough sleep: it’s essential for retaining information! Don’t cram the night before an exam – you’ll end up only studying what’s right in front of your eyes and will be unable to recall anything that you could have learned further back. Instead, get enough sleep so that you will be well-rested on the morning of your exam. Sleep deprivation takes its toll on your energy levels and your ability to focus, concentrate, and recall information.
- Utilise available resources: Make a list of all the resources you have access to, and then rank them according to their usefulness. This can be helpful for two reasons:
- It will give you a good idea of how much time and effort specific resources require so that you can avoid wasting your time on inefficient study methods
- Once you have ranked all your resources, you can create a study schedule and find out how many hours per day you should spend studying. Remember that more is not always better when it comes to studying! Frequent breaks are necessary for the brain to absorb information effectively.
- Find out what your teachers are using in class: Often, they will provide students with a syllabus that outlines what is expected from each student. If they do not have a syllabus, you can often find it posted online or on the class website. Take a look at what you are expected to do each day and bring any homework home with you.
If your class relies heavily on textbooks, then it’s time to crack open those books. Taking detailed notes while reading the text will help you better understand the material. As you read through your notes, don’t forget to review and summarize them after each chapter.
- Practice questions: You can download a large number of sample tests that will help you get an idea about the type of questions that may appear in your upcoming exam. You can also visit wizeprep.com for simplified lessons and practice sets. These practice tests are also beneficial for revising topics you find difficult and are likely to be asked in your exam. By practicing these sample tests, you can practice your answers in detail and understand the time duration for answering a question.
10: Cramming: Yes, you read that right! Cramming works! It can be an effective way to revise information when it’s the last resort. Cramming may be the difference between passing and failing an exam since it can help you to learn some of the information in a short amount of time. However, it doesn’t give your brain enough time to fully process all of the information you are trying to learn, which means that after the cram session is over, you will only be able to remember a fraction of what you studied.
With these study methods, you are armed to face the exam. It would be best to put in the effort and not wait for the last moment, start studying at least a week before the exams. Facing the exams is not easy, but with courage and good preparation, you can ace them. Prepare well for your next exam!