How to Prepare for Exams

1. Study in Chunks

When chunking material, divide it into smaller groups of five, seven, or nine when doing so. The concept of chunking is not limited to the organization of one’s possessions; time can be chunked as well. Your time spent studying should be broken up into sections. Take, for instance: First spending an hour learning about one topic, then switching gears and learning about something else for the next hour. Keep in mind that it is necessary to take a rest between different subjects.

2. Use Daylight Hours 

The daytime is typically when we have the highest levels of alertness. Put the time you have between classes to good use by studying and finishing up homework. Don’t take naps! Make the most of the time you have between classes. This will assist you in maintaining a schedule and getting to bed at a reasonable hour.

3. Make Healthy Choices

You shouldn’t deny yourself either food or sleep. Make it a priority to organize your day so that you can avoid having to stay up all night. If you want to perform well on your tests, getting enough sleep is necessary. Maintaining a close eye on your stress levels will help you keep an eye on your mental health. You should aim to eat a breakfast that is well-balanced and stay away from junk food before your exam.

4. Active Learning

The most important premise of effective studying is that learning should not be passive but rather active. Active learning requires students to actively engage in decision-making regarding the content. For instance, you might inquire yourself:

  • Is this important?
  • How is this part organized?
  • Where does this fit into the big picture?
  • What is the definition of this term?
  • When have I learned this concept before?

5. Find the Right Place to Study

 When it comes to the environment in which they are most productive, various students have different preferences. Whether you need complete silence to study or you like calm music in the background, make sure that you minimize the number of distractions in your environment. Put your phone on a “do not disturb” setting or turn it off completely. Find a location on campus, other than your room, that offers the kind of study setting you like best and go there.

6. Get Organized

Before you start studying, make sure that all of your notes, PowerPoints from the lecture, and other study resources are well organized. Before you start studying, make sure that any study tools you plan to use, such as note cards, Quizlet, or anything else, are ready to go. Make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare your study materials and get started on your studying before each exam by developing a study schedule.

7.  Plan Ahead

Make a study schedule for each of your upcoming exams. You should start going over your notes as soon as you possibly can. In the cumulative tests, this will be very important. Because there is so much material to go through, it is extremely vital to organize your study schedule in advance for cumulative exams. When you plan, you can also ensure that your other commitments, such as your work schedule or the tests for your other classes, will not interfere with your study plan.

8. Say, “Goodbye” to Distractions

When you are studying, get rid of everything that disrupts your normal pattern of thought. A few examples of distractions include the following:

  • Turn off notifications to social media and other apps for the week that are distracting
  • If your hunger is distracting, keep healthy snacks on hand
  • If your roommates are distracting, find a quiet spot in the McGraw-Page Library to get work done
  • If your family likes to call during your allotted study times, establish expectations and communicate your goals 

9. Dress for Success

You must reserve your pajamas solely for use in the bedroom, regardless of whether you favor dressing formally or more casually. Your brain will receive incorrect psychological signals if you go to class dressed in your pajamas. You want to send a message to your brain that you are concerned, that you are awake, and that you are prepared to take the test.

10. Create a Study Group

When you study with a group of four to six people, you get the chance to have more in-depth conversations with the other students in your class. The most productive study groups agree on a set of ground rules. Do your best to stay on topic, and if a digression does occur, make an effort to bring the discussion back around to the subject of the research. You do not want to squander your study time participating in conversations that do not contribute to your comprehension of the content.

11. Create Study Materials

When studying for reading assignments, flashcards can be an effective tool for learning key phrases, concepts, formulas, and even quotes from the assigned reading. You might also make use of study tools such as Quizlet, StudyBlue, or StudyStack. It is also possible to acquire and recall language through the use of games like Jeopardy.

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