Five Study Tips to Ace Your Exam

Ben Dunham

Photo by Ben Dunham
Junior Tom Rupp puts in some extra study time before his exams this week. Studying during the day will help you hold on to information longer, as you won’t be tempted to go to sleep like you are at night.

Well, it’s that wonderful time of the year again. Exam season.  Whether it’s maintaining an ‘A’ that you’re after or just holding on to pass a class, nobody can deny the fact that passing exams is of utmost importance.  To help you make it through these trimester-ending terrors, here are some tips to make the most of your study time.

1. Stick to a studying schedule. It’s important to keep yourself on a regulated schedule for study time, in order to avoid getting behind.  Try setting a decent amount of time away each night, around a half hour, to study for your exam.  You’ll find that small, easy doses are much better than long cramming sessions.

2. Focus. When you’re studying, that’s exactly what you need to do: study.  Put away your phone, turn off your computer, or do whatever you have to in order to avoid distractions.  You need to put one-hundred percent of your focus on your studies, or you will find that you won’t be able to remember anything and essentially waste your time.

3. Find a method that works for you. Whether it’s using flashcards, re-writing notes, or re-reading old texts, you need to find a method of study that helps you remember information.  Keep trying different methods until you feel you’ve found your best fit.  Remember that what works for other people isn’t necessarily going to work for you, so the only way to truly find your best study tactic is through trial-and-error.

4. Know when to stop. This may sound very counter-intuitive, but there is a point where studying stops helping and starts hurting.  If you try to take in too much information at one time it will go in one ear and right out the other.  Take periodic breaks and quiz yourself on material you’ve just gone over, to make sure it is sticking.  If you have to, get up and move every once in awhile.  A common method for remaining focused is to work for twenty-five minutes and then take a five minute break.

5. Sleep. This is probably the most important tip.  Sleep has been proven to be the most important factor in information retention.  Try to shoot for eight or more hours of sleep on nights that you study, and especially the night before the exam.  This may sound crazy, but you’ll find that being well-rested is the best way to prepare yourself for doing well on the exams.

Although studying for exams may be a very daunting task at first, you’ll find that it becomes much easier if you stick to these tips.  The most important thing to remember is that your exams are really just a combination of the information you’ve already been taught.  If you’ve paid good attention in class, you should already know everything that is coming your way.  With a bit of a studying brush-up, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to know, and be ready to pass the exam with flying colors.