Work in short chunks of time; for example, work for an hour, then take a 10 minute break. Go outside and take a walk. Daydream a little bit about the holidays. Reward yourself for completing decent amounts of work: paint your nails, spend 5-10 minutes on Instagram, watch a Ted Talk, or have a mini dance party. De-stress with rewards that
food, because that’s how exam pudge happens. Taking breaks helps your stress levels and avoids burnout. Planning small rewards helps you get over the “I don’t feel like it” mentality.
Another tip for getting started it to plan out your time. Make a study schedule with realistic
goals, like what time you’re going to wake up and how much you can get done. The easiest way to prioritize is to set two or three main goals each day, like “Finish Chapters 1, 2, and 3”. Make them realistic, but not so small that you don’t actually get anything done. When you actually go through your day, you can write what you actually did and at what times beside it. This lets you see where your time is actually going, so you can see if you need to get rid of one more distraction or allocate your time better.
Again, figure out what will be tested. If your test is likely to be straight memorization, try rewriting notes over and over and using mnemonics. If your exam will likely be about implications, make diagrams, connections, and ask what would happen if you changed something. This works well for chemistry, history, or cell biology.
Understand your learning style and adapt. Do you learn best by drawing diagrams and colour-coding? Do that! Are you an auditory learner? My roommate, who is in health science/anatomy, has a 4.0GPA. She knows she’s an auditory learner, so she studies by reading out loud, and trying to explain her notes and memorize out loud. Genius. If you’re a kinesthetic learner, act things out. Remember the bone song from Hannah Montana? Use it! Point to your femur or whatever. You do you!
Talk to other people. Discuss things. If you can explain things and discuss with others, you’ll remember it so much better. It helps if you do this all the way throughout the semester—just talking about the material covered in class that day can help spark your memory later.
Going through and rereading notes periodically throughout the semester (I like every weekend) will help you be able to study less come finals season, too!
Using these tips, you should be all set for exam day!
Comment below to tell me your best exam studying tips!