College Life: Exam Study Tips

Hey Guys!

So it’s that time again, midterms are here and finals are literally just around the corner.  I’ve been there, I know the first thought running through your mind is to hide under the covers. But that’s never the answer.  

There are things that you can do to help alleviate the stress you will inevitably have during this time.

  1. Get some sleep-                                                                      

    No seriously, make sure you are getting enough sleep.  It won’t end well if you end up falling asleep during your exam.  It doesn’t matter where you sleep just make sure you rest.  I’ve slept on random couches in the Library and the faculty center.  And the gym at my school has what they call sleep pods that they rent by the hour, if you get there at the right time you might be able to use it longer.          While I’m not proud of it I pulled my fair share of all nighters back when I first started college.  But I’ve learned since then that it never turns out well studying that way.  You should always try to get between 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  (The new update on the IOS has a bedtime setting that has helped so much on getting to sleep around the same time everynight) 

  2. Make a list- 

    One of the first things that I do when I’ve got something big to study for, or a big paper coming up is to make a list of what needs to be done.  However, this doesn’t mean that you can spend an hour of studying time making said list.  Make it as simple as you can, then if you need to add to it you can do that later.

  3. Check your Schedule-



    Make double sure that when you’re studying for one exam that you don’t have another sneak up on you.  That’s one of the biggest things a friend and I did last year.  We sqeaked by… barely.  Make sure you create a calendar or add it onto your planner so you know when you have things due.

  4. Handwrite your notes in class- 

    I’ve always been one of those who likes to type up my notes, but towards the end of my undergradate years I ended up with more and more professors that did not allow technology in class.  So I had no choice but to hand write my notes, but I also learned the hard way that using my laptop leads to distractions.  There are also  quite a few studies that have shown that you retain more by handwriting your notes. 

  5. Organize your Notes-

    Now that you’ve got your notes together, it’s time to organize them.  If you’ve taken handwritten notes for your class, start to type them up to make it easier for you to read them. Get them highlighted by topic, or term, or date, or name.  What ever it is that you need to organize them into more managable bits to understand and remember.

  6. Chose a Study Area-

    This is probably the second most important thing you could decided on during the semester.  Having a chosen study area can cut back on your stress.  One thing that I’ve learned is that you should never study on your bed.  So decide now where you want to study and make sure you can get there early enough that it’s available for you.

  7. Have everything you need-

    If you’re anything like me when you study, I’ve learned that if I don’t have everything that I need I’ll end up leaving and going to get it and decide that I really don’t need to study after all.  Whether this means having a go to bag that will have everything, or making a list that way when you pack up to go study you can check it off.

  8. Block out Distractions-

    Know yourself and know what it is that will distract you from studying.  I know so many people that can study by listening to music and other that can’t have any noise.  Me, depending on what I’m studying either have to have music in the background or I’ll put on a random TV series and have it going while I study. (Remember not everyone can study the same, the tv works for me, but when I’m on a time crunch I can’t have anything going on because it will distract me.)                                                                                                                                                                        So if you’re easily distracted know your limits.  I’ve learned that if I have my phone out I’ll end up playing on it.  So either put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” or just put it away.  Also check out apps that will block your internet access for a predetermined amount of time whether on your phone, tablet, or computer.                                                                                                                                          Another tip is to know whether you study better in a group or by yourself.  For me it depends on what I’m studying as to whether doing a group study will help or just be a distraction.

  9.  Reward yourself-

    Always reward yourself, whether its at the end of a chapter, or writing a page on your paper let yourself have something.  It’ll make things go so much faster for you and give you something to look forward to.

  10. Quiz yourself-

    I’ll be honest this is the one thing that I always do, I forget to quiz myself along the way and end up with a huge pile of things to remember at the end.  Instead of doing that, break it up into chunksand quiz yourself as you go.  Make it a part of your process so you don’t have quite so much that you have to do in the end.  There is no right or wrong way to do this, you can make your own flash cards or use an app or website like Quizlet to make them digital and have them on the go. (I’m not sure where I would be without Quizlet!) Quizlet gives a variety of ways in which to study, like flashcards or a test in different forms.

  11. Believe you can do it-

    Start a mantra of I CAN DO THIS! Don’t listen to that devil on your shoulder saying that you’ll never get it all done. You can do this.  Just remind yourself that it can be done and knock it out of the park!

Good luck on your exams be they midterms or finals or that essay that you have due.  You can do it! Remember that a grade doesn’t define who you are and if you try your best the professors can tell.

Do you have any special study tips or things you do before an exam or paper is due?  Leave a comment below!

Until Next Time!



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