Hey people ❣
I know it’s been some time since my last post but exam period started and I just haven’t had the time to do a proper blog post. But anyway, since some of you might be in the middle of exams as well, today’s topic will be *drums please*: EXAMS!
You probably read 10+ articles already, telling you how to study for college exams but you haven’t read mine yet. From student to student, I present to you the No Bullshit Guide to University – how to study for college exams.
Yeah, that’s right. I spent some time on creating this infographic for you guys to get a quick overview over what you should do but read on for some extra insights and explanations. Knowing how to study for college exams (before, while and after college :’D) is so important, so read on for your own sake.
How to study for college exams | STUDY TIP #1: ORGANIZE
Alright, you’ve probably heard it before but seriously though, I think it’s important to mark your exam dates in a monthly calendar, print it out and put it above your desk. Having an overview is so important when you have so much stuff to do because it let’s you keep a cool head. If you can’t see it in front of you when which exam has to be handed in, all the deadlines become blurry and blend into one big mess because you have no visual overview. I got some templates for you again – obviously you can also just use your mobile or laptop calendar, but I feel like having your calendar exposed all the time gives a better type of calmness, so here you go.
When you’re done with that, the next step is to make a study plan. What I mean with that is to seriously think about how to divide your study material up, so that you can make everything in time. Let’s look at an example of how I do it. I write down all the subjects that I have an exam in in the left notes section of the above example and mark the exam dates in the right calendar section. Then I estimate how much study time I need for each subject, sometimes you might need 2 weeks to really study for one subject, whereas you might just need 3-4 hardcore days for another because you’re better at some things than others. After you did that, it’s time to make a study plan with realistic goals – get the emphasize on realistic!! Know yourself and your tempo and don’t put up some sky-high goals that even 2 people dividing up the work wouldn’t be able to finish on time. Plan some rewards for when you reach those goals, so that you look forward to getting stuff done. This is really crucial because our brain is naturally wired to make an effort towards these goals if they are exciting and achievable. The more distinct your goals, the easier it is for your brain to work towards them.
Here’s some templates that can help you with it:
How to study for college exams | STUDY TIP #2: PRACTICE
Alright, this is obviously the most important part. A lot of people persist on using only the book, which is used during the course at school. Why though? People, you are studying in the perfect moment to make use of all the benefits the Internet provides you with?! If it’s not easy to find information nowadays, then I don’t know what is. I google stuff all the time, but I also use YouTube, Quora, Reddit etc. a lot – don’t be afraid of posting your questions on these portals or don’t think that people are not gonna answer – I once asked a question on Quora and it was answered the next day. Once I even wrote a programmer a personal email because I didn’t understand his code (btw, he answered me, just a little bit too late haha!) Besides, you’ll learn using other methods to understand what’s in the book when you don’t actually understand what’s in the book. Just do it!
It’s also a good idea to prepare some mock tests, think about questions you could be asked, write them down and try to answer them. That way you think about the topic you study from another angle. If you have to study a new language or certain important terms, there is a technique that my old English teacher taught me. You divide up your whole vocabulary list in parts, after every 10th word, make a line to divide that part from the other. After you’ve reached the end, you start by reading through the first 10 words and their translations. After that, cover up the solution and try to write as many words down as you remember. Afterwards, you read the first 10 words along with the next 10 words, cover up the solution again and start writing down all 20 words. Repeat this process until you are done with your whole list. The more times you go over the material, the more neural links will be built, and the more fixed in our minds the material will become. If you can’t remember something, it’s because the information was never really absorbed in the first place. Try to link the new information to something familiar you already know, it makes it much easier for your brain to recall the new information when it’s anchored to something else. And the last tip I have in terms of practicing for finals is to take small breaks of 5-10 minutes every 45 minutes. The reason for that is that we tend to remember things at the start and finish of a study session better, while the things in between basically get sucked up in the dark whole of our brains and never come back. In order to minimize this loss, you should only study for about 45 minutes and take those 5-10 minute breaks, where you don’t think about anything school related and freshen up your mind.
How to study for college exams | STUDY TIP #3: TRACK PERFORMANCE
Practicing is good and all but in order for you to be as efficient as possible, you have to track your performance. After all, ships that set sail without a destination don’t end up at their goal either. The same goes for you. Really try to check yourself in order to progress. I made a performance chart that you can use to track your progress because who doesn’t like pretty illustrations?
How to study for college exams | STUDY TIP #4: SLEEP
Right, there is not so much to say here other than that you need enough sleep for your brain to transfer new knowledge. Think of it like a USB data transaction that gets interrupted when you don’t lead the whole thing transfer, same goes for your brain. So get some sleep people!
How to study for college exams | STUDY TIP #5: DON’T PANIC
And we’ve reached our final destination, Panicland. I seriously cannot stress this more, don’t panic at your exams. The more you worry, the more you decrease your ability to remember stuff. Believe in yourself, you have worked hard for this, so you got this. There is actually a really useful quote from the book I read, “Do you think Olympic runners begin their training and continue to train year-round if they don’t actually believe they can win the gold?”
That said, I hope this how to study for college exams guide has helped you, even if it’s just a little bit! I’d be happy to hear if you used any of the techniques I wrote about, so let me know in the comments section below or DM me on Instagram or wherever you like.
Thanks for stopping by again!
Until next time,