How to Study for a Big Exam

With finals rapidly approaching, how do you know if you’re doing it right? Here are few helpful pointers to ensure you ace those exams with no problem!

Set up your surroundings. Make sure that you can concentrate in the environment you create. Find a space where there are not people constantly slamming doors or causing distractions. Studies also show that it’s extremely helpful to play classical music softly as you study – give it a try! You may be surprised at its effects.

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Make a Schedule. It important to give yourself ample time to study for several hours a day. Making sure that you have enough time helps you keep scheduled and organize what you need to go over each day. It helps prevent cramming, which is not as useful or productive as people think. Studying at the last minute actually contributes to more confusion and understanding less.

Question Yourself. When you’re going over things in your head, ask yourself possible questions that could very well be on the exam. Test your full knowledge of the subject by not only asking your own questions, but finding chapter or study guide questions. After all, they are just that: a guide.

Outline and Flash Cards. After reading all of the chapters, or information you need, condense and summarize everything onto reference sheets. Most people find flash cards useful, but if you are better with outlines, try that as well! Whatever method you choose, there is evidence to support that handwriting information is more useful than typing or trying to memorize right away. It helps you repeat and feed the information to yourself, thus helping you remember and reference easier.

Acronyms and Pneumonic Devices. Drill everything into your head. Play with your diagrams and structures by making acronyms and pneumonic devices, to help you remember the order in which things appear. Do not forget repetition – it is your new best friend!

Take Breaks. Jamming all of that information into such a small brain is tiresome! Try to allow yourself time to relax and take breaks so that you don’t wear yourself out!

Sleep. While it’s tempting to pull all nighters, they are not worth your while. You will be exhausted both physically and by the subject that one you get to the actual exams, you won’t be able to concentrate. Sleeping also helps your remember and retrieve information. So don’t neglect it!


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