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Study tips for exams

Study tips for exams

by Loren Howarth

With the exam period quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to prepare. You might be stressed now, but with these handy hints we’ll put your mind at ease, and lead you on the road to success!

Start studying now! 

You’re probably drowning in assessments right now, but it’s important to prepare for your exams early on. Even if you set aside just 30 minutes a day, you’ll become more familiar with the content and have more confidence come exam time.

Cramming the night before an exam won’t help either. Unfortunately it’s not possible for you to remember a large amount of information in such a short amount of time. Instead, you’ll wake up in the morning feeling tired and even more stressed.

Rewrite your notes 

Although it might seem like a long and boring process, rewriting your notes will actually help you to remember information more efficiently. Don’t just copy your notes straight from the textbook though! Instead, write down your own real life examples of the theories. You’ll have a much better chance of remembering a scenario that you developed rather than a page of notes.

Rest up 

You need to study to get the best results, that’s that. But studying non-stop will burn you out and you’ll have nothing to give in the exam. Not to mention you’ll have no energy and won’t be interested in the course content anymore.

Set yourself time limits. For example, study for one hour at a time, and then give yourself a short break to clear your mind and come back with a clear headspace ready to get back into it.

Make a study group 

Study groups are a fun way to smash out some study with your friends (because it doesn’t actually feel like study!). You’ll learn off other students, support each other through the exam period and make plans for the end of exams while you’re at it. It’ll also make you commit yourself to studying, because you won’t want to let anyone (including yourself) down. Try and meet up once or twice a week to discuss any difficult topics and work through it together.

Ask (lots of) questions! 

It’ll be impossible to study effectively if you’re having trouble understanding course related terminology or concepts. So before you begin, make a list of all of the concepts you don’t understand, and ask your lecturer to clarify these for you. This way you’ll know what you’re talking about in your exam!

Make study cards

Study cards are a great way to prepare for exams. It’s also a good way to summarise the really important theories from your subject. To make study cards, write down a question on one side, with the answer on the other. You can either test yourself with these, or do it with a partner. Ask your family to test you if you can’t find a partner, they’ll love helping out!

Practice old exams

Doing past exams is the oldest trick in the book. And why do we still do it? Because it works! Doing practice exams lets you see what type of questions you’ll be asked in the exam. It will give you an indication of what topics you need to work on. Ask your lecturer for some old exam papers, and ask if they mind marking it or giving you the answer sheet when you’re done.

Get creative

Studying for exams doesn’t have to be all note taking. If you’re a visual learner, create mind maps, flow charts and even drawings if it helps you to remember better! Tailor how you study to how you learn best and you’ll be more likely retain the info.

This is an SSAF funded initiative
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