Study Tips for Major Exams

Written by Lisa Bleich

Good luck to those of you who have major exams coming up. Here are some tips to do your best.

Organize and Plan Ahead. One of the biggest stressors for studying for midterms is feeling like there is not enough time to study. So one way to avoid that is to plan out how and when you will study at least 1-2 weeks in advance. That way you can budget your time and if you need extra time for a given subject, you will allow yourself plenty of wiggle room.

Determine your needs. Determine in advance if you think you will need extra help in a given subject. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends, your parents, or if possible a tutor in the subject. Sometimes it helps reduce the stress by going over the material with someone else.

Create a “Distraction Free” Zone. It’s very difficult to study with Facebook, iChat, Instagram, and text messages coming in from every direction. Take at least one hour per day alone to give yourself a chance to focus and absorb your material. That means, turning off cell phones, making yourself “invisible” on video chat and Instagram and keeping Facebook off. It may seem impossible, but you will find yourself able to be much more productive and better prepared.

Take an Exercise Break. If you find yourself getting antsy, go for a run or walk, go to the gym, or just move around for 30 minutes. Exercise will release endorphins and minimize stress and make you better able to stay on task.

Teach the Material to a Friend. Studies show that if you can teach the material to someone else, it forces you to process and organize the information differently and will get into your long term memory more effectively.  Also anticipating questions that may be on the exam can help.  Here is a link to an interesting article aimed at professors to make learning more impactful. The same tips apply to studying.

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