Exam season! The term has come to a close and it’s time to show your courses what you’re made of. If you’ve been hard at work all term or kicked it into high gear after midterms, here are some tips to help you study for your exams.
Whether or not your finals are cumulative, there can be a lot of content to study for exams. It’s best to approach it in a systematic way, and by breaking it down into manageable pieces. Whether that’s by time or simple goals, you can start by figuring out what to study.
What do I study?
Narrow down what you need to study by consulting your resources. Did you attend an exam review class? Is there an exam outline on Learn?
Make sure you know what to expect on the exam before you start studying the whole course. With your review or outline in mind, you can plan out how much you need to, or can, get through.
Pull out those notes and put them to good use! Find principal themes, subtopics, and major illustrations and memorize them. Write out a course summary and have a good grasp of what’s happened throughout the term. Make sure to highlight what areas you had trouble with, so you can focus on those now.
How do I study?
1. Find the time
Once you determine how and what you’re studying, it’s time to get down to actually studying. Grab a calendar for the rest of the month and plan out the days leading up to your exams. Block out time to study and use your course outline to create goals for what you plan to accomplish each day. Voila, your to-do list!
2. Find a place
Ensure you are in a location that is most conducive to getting your work done. For some, that will be at home in their room. If you’re like me, and tend to spend more time in bed than at your desk when you’re at home, maybe consider studying on campus.
Though the SLC study space is limited due to construction, you can use Portal to find open classrooms around campus to study in.
3. Find a strategy that works for you!
Whether it's visual diagrams, reciting your notes back to yourself, or continuous practice problems, finding a studying system that works for you ensures that the time that you spend studying is as efficient as possible. If you have the chance, consider discovering your learning style.
There are a number of ways to learn actively. Always ask yourself if you understand what you’re learning. Some ways to build that understanding include:
- Creating associations
- While you're reading or taking notes, try to connect concepts and questions to other concepts and themes from the course. Practice recalling these connections so you can remember them while you're taking the exam.
- Did your professor supply you with practice exams? Were there questions on the midterm that you need to be familiar with? Go through those! Try not to immediately look at the answers, but go through what you think the right answer is and why. If it turns out you were wrong, take the time to understand what it was that you were wrong about.
- Teaching the information to someone else
- Group studying is great when you can all stay on track. Try explaining concepts to your friends – it will help deepen your own understanding of the material!
- Once you’ve gone through a lot of your notes on a concept, be sure you’re retaining that information! Write down a quick summary of what you’ve reviewed to solidify your learning.
Be sure that while you’re studying you’re also taking breaks, as well as eating and sleeping well. After all, what’s the use of all your efforts if you’ll be too exhausted to remember everything you studied? Prioritize sleeping and eating well throughout exam time.
In all, finishing up the term can be a hectic time, but we believe in you Warriors. Good luck on your exams!