How You Can Crush Those Exams This Time Around

We all know the ending of a semester can be quite nerve-wracking, we all worry about when we’re going to have time to study through all the Christmas shopping, family occasions and friendly get-togethers. Plus, the stress that the exam is going to be worth a chunk of your mark and could determine if you pass or fail might just set you off the edge. I don’t want to see you burnout from the stress.

Here are some tips on how to study to conquer and massacre your final exams:

Set a study schedule.

You wouldn’t believe how organization can really pull you through college until you fully set yourself to a strict, orderly lifestyle. One way of organizing yourself through exam season would be to set a schedule where you study for a certain course on a specific day AND for a set period of time.

Now, the only way this is going to work is if you adhere to your schedule religiously. I mean, this is your life for the next couple weeks, pride yourself in knowing that after this, your hard work will be praised and time to celebrate!

So here’s an example: say you’re an arts major, your finals mostly consist of multiple choice and maybe a couple short answer and if your professor really dislikes the holiday season, an essay. Now, you have this for almost all your classes, how do you find the time? Well, there’s 7 days in a week and 24 hours in a day… plenty of time to get lots of work done.

Work around your work and social schedule and find a time that works each day for a different course. Each day, during your couple-hour study session, focus on different units and topics, but typically the ideas that the professor stressed the most throughout the term. Follow this one rule and you’re quite on your way to easing the burden of exams. It’s important to stay motivated while you work throughout college.

ALSO, an important reminder is that you must write it down on a calendar or schedule. Having the written reminder guilt’s you into not only studying, but getting into the habit that you’re going to be studying at that time, that day.

Prepare a study guide if you want to know how to study in college for any exam!

Now, as corny as this sounds, this could be your best bet to doing really well on your finals.

Create a study guide for each of your classes so that you never fail a college course again. Inside the guide include:

  • Definitions from each chapter and lecture.
  • Key concepts and theories from both text and lectures.
  • Main theorists on topics.
  • …And most importantly your own interpretation of the concepts from the class. Putting the concepts into your own words, not only allows you to fully grasp the concepts that you’re studying, but also to memorize them because you understood them yourself.

Another important note is to hand-write all study guides, I know we’re in the tech-era but studies show that actually writing down the concepts allows you to process them, while writing. In regards to typing notes, typing has become such an involuntary action that many other types of processing can be done while note-taking, distracting you from your precious study time. This leads me to my next point.

Create a study-friendly zone.

There are a couple of factors to consider when beginning to study, you want to be able to fully study without being distracted as much as that’s possible. Commonly, most of us have room-mates, or live at home so it’s pretty easy to get sucked into to talking, watching your favourite tv show or just simply procrastinating. Also, with the winter weather, a lot of us don’t want to trek to campus to study at the library (that’s gonna be packed) just to study for a couple hours (which mostly are spent looking for a place to sit and trying to get wi-fi). This is precious time wasted and like we all know time is very valuable  this time of year for us students. Well, here’s the solution:

  • Buy a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. This completely shuts out any noises or distractions from people around you. You can sit in your own room and work away quietly, or if you prefer music, pop in a pair a headphones and jam out while you’re studying. Either way, you’re blocking out distractions and creating a better environment for you to focus on mostly lame  material.
  • Make your study area comfy. It’s nice to relax when studying, it takes the pressure away from the fact that you really don’t want to be studying at that given moment. It also allows you to get into a zone where you can work freely and you don’t feel.. hmm how to word this?.. uncomfortable. You’ll end up getting a lot of work done and maybe even studying longer.
  • TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. Now, I’m sure for two or three hours you can stop BBM’ing, checking Facebook, Tweeting, Texting or playing on your phones. This could possibly be your biggest distraction when studying, you couldn’t imagine all the time that is lost when you engage in your phone when studying. Also you lose your train of focus every time a text comes through, and you begin to focus on that topic instead. Not good for business at all. So general rule here, phones off and concentrate! Just keep thinking about all the great food and desserts to be had in a couple of weeks.

Now you know how to study in college. I hope this works for you. Discipline is key when it comes to studying, which I’m sure most of us know. If you can pay off debt and learn about personal finance, your finals should be easy!

If you stick to that schedule every day, create efficient notes so you’re not wasting your time on pointless material, and create a study zone where you can maximize your work potential. When you add it all up, it’s the perfect combination to being successful on exams. Not only that, but alleviating the pressure because you know you have a set plan and goal. Start now! 

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Comments

    • says

      That’s a good strategy. I also used to try to treat school like a job. My professor suggested that you pretend your pay is your grade. For example, an A means that you’re getting paid well. While a C is poverty level.

  1. says

    I sometimes wonder if studying skills should be a compulsory part of high school education. Elementary and High school was so easy for me that I never needed to study to get A’s and B’s so I never studied and never really learned how to. When I got to college, I found the hard way that studying really wasn’t optional and I was completely unprepared.

    • says

      That’s funny because I experienced this in high school. I had it easy in elementary school. So many times I would skip assignments or hand them in late. In high school, I was hit with the reality that if I didn’t hand in my assignments I would get a zero.

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