It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, almost. If you’re in college or university, exam season is upon us! For me, exam season is the hardest part of the year, because at this point in the semester:
- I’m exhausted
- I’m stressed
- And I just want to be at home with my family for the holidays.
Here are my top 10 exam study tips!
Tip #1: Make a Schedule
One thing I find really helpful (especially during exams) is being well organized. One way to do this is to make a calendar with the dates of all of your final exams (or papers, projects & presentations) so that you can visualize it. Then, add specific study times devoted to certain subjects so you aren’t cramming at the last minute.
Tip #2: Sleep
I can’t stress to you enough how important it is to get enough sleep. If you’re tired or have been studying all day and your brain feels fried- don’t feel guilty about taking a nap or going to sleep early! You will be so much more productive after a good nights rest.
Tip #3: Drink lots of Water
Staying hydrated is so important for your body! You don’t want to get a dehydration headache because they typically last 3-4 hours and this will definitely set you back on your study schedule. Something I like to do to make sure I’m drinking enough water is have a drink every time I take a study break, or start a new subject.
Tip #4: Take Breaks
It’s better for your brain to study very intensely for about thirty minutes and then take a break, rather than effortlessly studying for hours on end. You need to give your brain time to absorb everything you’re learning, and how can it when you are continuously trying to memorize more information?
Tip #5: Know your learning style
If you study best alone on the quiet floor, home in your bedroom, or in a local cafe, know that about yourself! Don’t feel like you need to go to the library to be social or just because all your friends are there, if you know you’ll be more productive at home. Save that social time for your study breaks!
Tip #6: Eat!
It’s so important to nourish your brain. I know from experience that during exam season you’re likely consuming a lot of coffee and ordering takeout to the library. I know that studying can be so overwhelming that sometimes you completely forget to eat! Eating helps you to study more effectively, gives you brain power, and (for me) puts me in a better mood.
Tip #7: Take your time
When you’re in the exam, don’t stress about time and rush through all the questions just to get it over with. You’ve put so many hours into studying for this exam! If you don’t know a question it’s okay to skip over it and come back to it later. The most important thing to remember during exams is not to leave anything blank! Believe it or not, your professors want to help you succeed and they will likely assign partial points just for attempting the question!
Tip #8: Know when you’re most productive
Like I said earlier in this post, it’s crucial to know yourself and know when you’re most productive. Some people are night owls, and some people are early risers. If you know that you work best in the morning, go to sleep earlier and use those early morning hours to work as hard as you can. Likewise, if you work better at night, maybe sleep in more in the morning so you can be more productive at night.
Tip #9: Study groups!
Some people love them, and some people hate them, but believe it or not study groups are highly effective. I find personally that it is so much easier to understand a theory when you can talk it out with someone. The best part is that if you have any questions, someone in your study group will be able to answer it and it helps you both to understand. Another benefit of study groups is that you can meet new people and make new friends!
Tip #10: Relax. Just Breathe.
You’ve already made it through the entire semester. You’ve made it through years of school and you’ve likely written hundreds of tests in your life. Relax. The grade on this exam does not define you. Everyone gets a few bad test scores throughout their life because nobody’s perfect! If you get stuck on a question during an exam just breathe. You know this stuff! (and even if you don’t just write something!)
Best of luck to everyone writing exams this season!