Exam Study Tips



For many students this semester, midterms will begin soon. We can all relate to the anxiety of worrying whether or not you’ll do well on your test, however, you’ll find it’ll only worsen if you choose to do the nonchalant thing—not studying because you “think” you can pass by guessing, cramming, copying, etc.

Luckily, we’re going to give you some of the best tips you can find on getting ready for your test—13 tips, in fact!


Don’t cram!

Do not expect to learn everything by going over the material the day/night before. You’ll only retain a small portion of it, no matter how optimistic you are. Instead, check your syllabus and determine when you should start studying that would allow you to calmly study without feeling rushed. Consider giving each subject/section, its own day for studying.

Skim the main concepts

Similar to cramming is rereading everything you think will be on the test. If you try to do this, you’re wasting valuable time. Instead, skim the most important topics and determine what parts of it are the most difficult for you to grasp and focus on re-reading those.

Ask what specific lessons may be on the exam

Most professors are more than willing to provide reviews, or hint at which of the more difficult topics will appear on your test. Professors exist to guide you, so don’t fear them, form good communication skills, instead.

Meet with your Professor

Aside from asking about the exam, consider meeting your professor to talk about the concepts you’re having difficulty on. All professors should have specific times available for you to contact them in some form, so choose to take advantage of that. Even if they can’t tutor you, they could provide you with specific lessons to study, which you can then take to your tutor (many schools offer free tutoring on campus as long as you make appointments for each lesson)

Attend available review sessions

If you’re lucky enough to have classes where the students or teacher openly invite classmates to a review session—TAKE IT! In class, it may be less than ideal to ask questions often because your professor is trying to relay information to all students during a short period of time, however, in a review, you’re free to ask questions, even the ones you think might be “dumb”. Most of the time these sessions, especially when prompted by a professor, will include exam questions.

Organize your notes, not your room!

This isn’t the time to fix your video game collection or clean your room. Choose to organize your notes, instead, so it’s easier for you to figure out what you’re missing!

Don’t study in your room

It’s comforting, but it’s not what you need right now. The environment you need varies person-to-person, but usually it’s a library, coffee shop, or open court at school that offers a quiet space.

Silence your social apparatus

Disconnect from all social media so there aren’t any unnecessary distractions. You can use them later for a reward system.

Don’t make yourself sick!

The time when you least want to study is when you’re sick. It’s easy to say to yourself “I can study later” when you feel horribly, physically, so don’t set yourself up. Eat well, take walks, and don’t listen or watch depressing things.

Give yourself a break

Plan for those breaks you know you’ll take, allow yourself a certain amount of time to do something relaxing, but make it a reward. Remember that social media you put on silent? Check on it once you finish a big chapter or two and then wait until you finish another one to check it again.

Review for a little while directly after class

Check to see if you understood the concepts on the lesson. If not, make note of it or ask your professor if he’s available. Sometimes, you can catch a professor right before class.

Go over your past tests/assignments

Same as the after class review; Find what you did wrong in past tests and assignments and make sure you go over it.

Create a productive mixtape!

No, not just with your favorite songs, but with upbeat and/or a relaxing tunes. If you’re distracted by the lyrics, try instrumentals.

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