How To Study For Exams

Studying for exams can make or break your grade in a class. The most common barrier between college students is being able to study effectively for exams.

Some people do well with reciting their notes out loud, others memorize by copying their notes. However you decide to study it is important that you are retaining the information properly.

For example, I noticed that rewriting my notes helps me to memorize rather than making note cards. Many students suffer from using techniques that they think will help them learn when in reality is hindering them.

Here are 8 steps that will teach students how to study for exams efficiently and help them discover which methods help them retain information the best.

Step 1: Choose your environment wisely

It is important to choose an environment in which you can study in. If you find that coffee houses and cafes are too noisy then maybe you should study in the library. Same goes for being at home, sometimes there are too many distractions. Though the library may not be the most comfortable place to be, you will have less distractions compared to being at home or at a cafe.

Step 2: Start with what you don’t know

As you consider how to study for exams, it is important to review your notes to see what you understand and what material you need to study more. Why waste time on material you already know?

Step 3: Find two effective ways you can study

For me I like to form my own test questions out of my notes and then I rewrite my notes which helps me to memorize the concepts. Maybe note cards and examples help you to understand the material, some people make up songs to help memorize their class material, so it is really important to find what study method is best for you.

Step 4: Read over past assignments

If you had any previous quizzes or assignments it is most likely your professor will quiz you on that material. Go back and look over everything you did right and everything you did wrong and add it to your study guide.

Step 5: The 45/15 rule

To keep your brain running on its full potential try studying for 45 minutes straight and take a 15 minute break in between. During your break surf the web or get up and move around. As soon as the 15 minutes are up get right back to work. Knowing that you have a break coming up will help you to stay on task.

Step 6: Getting extra help

Don’t be shy to form a study group in class. Most likely there is at least one other person that would be interested in sharing notes and studying with you. Having another person to talk about lectures and class material can help you in case you missed or forgot to look over certain information.

Step 7: Create a weekly study schedule

Sometimes it is hard to fit in study time between class, meetings and work. However, studying every week in preparation for an exam will take loads of stress off of you when exam time comes along. Not only will you have to study less but it is more likely you will ace the exam because you have been keeping up with notes all semester.

Step 8: Attend the review session

I cannot stress attending the review session enough. Many students decide to skip the day before the exam because they know the professor is not going to introduce any new material. Even if this is true, many times the professor will give you clues to what will be on the exam and what you should focus on the most. If anything, the review session is one of the most essential parts to doing well on a exam.

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Rachel Talaska

Rachel Talaska

Rachel Talaska is a junior at Central Michigan University pursuing degrees in public relations, journalism and marketing. Besides being in class, Rachel can be found working at the campus newspaper, Central Michigan Life in the advertising department or watching re-runs of "Friends." She hopes to one day move to a big city and find her dream job. Rachel enjoys fashion, eating healthy (with the occasional bowl of ice cream), fitness, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Rachel Talaska

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