For university and college students, April unfortunately marks the commencement of exam season. It is a simultaneously wonderful and terrible time of year because it signifies the end of a year but also the beginning of many sleepless nights and countless cups of coffee. Let’s face it – exams suck.
With that being said, I thought I might offer some tips and tricks in regards to studying that I find to benefit me personally. These techniques may or may not work for you, so please let me know some of your preferred study strategies in the comments!
I find that studying for an exam too early can be just as detrimental as studying for an exam too late. When I start studying for an exam too early in advance I tend to go over the information I have memorized countless times in my head, to the point where I begin to doubt myself and second-guess information I have retained. All persons are different, and depending on the subject you are studying for or even how much a particular exam is worth, it is difficult to designate or suggest a specific time frame in which you should start studying for an exam. For me, beginning to study three or four days before an exam seems to work, or even later in some circumstances. Experiment with different time frames in order to determine what works best for you, but try to avoid opening your textbook for the very first time the night before your exam.
In terms of techniques, repetition is my best friend. I tend to find a quiet location and read over my notes aloud multiple times until I have memorized a piece of information. Once I can reiterate information without having to consult my notes, I know I have it memorized and I am able to move on to the next portion of information.
Be sure to get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, eat nutritious food and get moderate exercise during exam season. Your mental health requires as much maintenance and attention as your notes, and letting your health decline because of academic stress will not benefit you in any manner. Take some deep breaths, clear your head and hammer down – you can do this!