Study Tips for Exams

Since exams are coming up I can already feel the stress of the people around me bubbling up. People are starting to get ready to study for exams as if it was the last thing they’ll ever do. But how do you even study for exams anyways? Here are some tips to get you through this exam season.

My calendar has all of my important deadlines so I can keep on track

Firstly, write EVERYTHING in a planner or agenda. It is so easy to forget dates during exam time so make sure you write down your exam dates and times so you don’t forget one. This will also help you to space the work out, rather than cramming the night before an exam.

Spacing the work out gives you more time to process the information, making it easier to remember. It will also prevent pulling all-nighters which is not a good study strategy since you need a sufficient amount of sleep for your brain to process and store the information in your long-term memory.

Use the 60:20 rule: study for 60 minutes, rest for 20 minutes. This will help you to recharge in between study sessions and prevent burnout.

Another way to prevent burnout is to rotate what classes you are studying for. This will help to keep you on your toes and not get drained by only one subject. In between study sessions, exercise is a great way to relieve stress and get any anxious energy out of your body.

My recent flashcards on Quizlet

To hold yourself accountable to studying get a study buddy that you know won’t distract you. My good friend Maddie and I do this and make sure that we keep each other on task. And during our study breaks it’s a great time to catch up.

You can also ask your study buddy to help test you on the topics and if they are in the same class you can ask each other questions about things you may not understand yet.

I really like making flashcards while studying. I use websites such as Quizlet for this but I find that writing things down with pen and paper always helps me to remember things better. And remember that reading is not studying. Writing things down will help you way more than just skimming over the textbook.

One tip that I find very hard to do is to not study in bed. It’s so easy to do school in bed these days. However, it can be so easy not to work and just lay down and play on your phone.

Rewarding myself with hot cocoa and a sunrise hike after my final exam

Find a place in your house where you know you can’t get distracted. To add to this, turn off your phone and put it in a drawer so it won’t be able to pull your attention away from your focus.

If you’re near campus, you can check out Subtext in the SUB and see if they have any practise exams for your class so you can see what to expect.

You should also take advantage of your professor’s office hours to ask questions and get a sense of what they are looking for on the exam or final assignments.

Lastly, find a way to reward yourself for your hard work. I know some people use sticker charts and put a sticker down for each hour studied.

Others reward themselves with a self-care night after a long day of studying. Whatever works for you make sure that you are keeping yourself motivated.

Hopefully, these tips will help you succeed this exam season. If you have any other tips make sure to write them down in the comments below.

Finals in the gym pre-COVID. © Brian Van Wyk

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