The purpose of this guide is to help you study effectively. This guide will focus on studying for exams, although much of the advice here can be applied to anything you want to learn.
I know that effective time management is an important key to success in exams and “real life”. As students, we often find it difficult to achieve time management because of many distractions that may be present in our lives. Such disruptions could include spending too much time on the internet, playing video games, watching TV, talking to friends on Facebook or Twitter, etc. Even though it is always good to relax and have fun with your friends by doing things you enjoy, it is crucial to know when enough is enough.
A big part of time management is self-control. This is one of the most important skills that you will ever learn, and if mastered it has the potential to bring you immense success in all aspects of your life. It is not just exam preparation time that should be considered “study” time, but also when practicing for an exam. You have to be able to differentiate between “study” and “fun” time. It is important never to mix the two, as this could lead to a decrease in productivity levels.
When you are studying for an exam, you must know what type of student you are. Are you a quick learner or do you need more time? Do you understand concepts easily or do you need to read everything several times over? These are self-explanatory questions that will be helpful when studying for an exam.
It is advantageous to have a small, powerful study group as well as a couple of good friends that can help push along the process. You should aim for studying with a friend as it is more fun and motivating. As for the study group, it will be helpful to have people there who can ask questions or share disagreements on concepts you might have. This will help strengthen your learning and lead to better understanding which usually results in better grades.
Always try and use multiple resources when studying (books, Wikipedia, internet, online lectures, etc.). This will help you avoid memorizing instead of understanding the concepts. In addition to this, it is good to take notes or write down any new knowledge that you gain from studying. This is because the brain only has a limited amount of space for information and writing things down permanently can help increase your ability to recall information.
Throughout the whole process, you should be making lots of flashcards (questions on one side, answers on the other). These are very useful for studying as it helps memorization and by doing the same questions over and over again, you will find that it becomes second nature to know the answer. Make sure to never do just one side of the card though, doing both will help memorization even more.
It is very useful to have an exam timetable. This will help you know how much time you have left and when you should start studying for your next subject or topic that will be covered in a final. If you find that one day is not enough, look at other days that you have free and plan accordingly.
You should always start by studying the parts of a subject that you understand the least first. This is because this will help cement those ideas in your mind and then you can work your way up to material that you know more about.
- Study smart, not hard.
The one thing to remember is that school isn’t about memorizing facts; it’s about learning to think critically and solve problems. So the best way to study for tests is to focus on understanding concepts you can grasp, not trying to memorize tons of little details (most students forget 90% of what they study).
- Focus on your weaknesses.
- Get plenty of sleep and exercise during the day before studying, because it’s harder to learn when you’re tired.
- It is important to know how you typically learn best (audio/visual/reading/writing) so that you can use this information in the learning process.
- Repetition is key in studying for tests, but make sure you are also focusing on understanding by asking yourself questions about what you are studying to check your comprehension!
- Find study buddies who are serious about school and will encourage each other to succeed.
- Utilize office hours provided by your professor or TA to go over questions you have about the material.
- Lastly, study for your test during or right after class because this is when most of the information is fresh in your mind.