Exam days are the scariest thing for all college students. These long-winded tests pop-up, what seems like, out of nowhere just to scare you into focusing more in class. The scariest one is the very first exam for a new class. “Why not final exams?” most people will ask. Finals aren’t scary because you have practiced that professor’s method of testing and know what to expect. The very first exam is like falling over a ledge and hoping a net will catch you.
Don’t be too afraid though. There are ways to be ready for this unknown. I am here to give you four tips to help you ace that exam.
Starting from day one of class, focus on the lectures the professor gives. Keeping track of important topics and even the most common topics during this section of the class will give you something to look back on when studying.
Use colored pens, detailed charts and some highlighters to make the essential details stand out clearly. If writing/typing isn’t a strong suit for you, ask the professor for permission to voice record classes to take notes from later or even listen back on for information.
Find a study buddy
Studying alone is always helpful when it comes to being focused on articles, books or writing papers but when it comes time to study for exams, having a friend who is also in the class can help add to the information already known.
The buddy may have something in their notes that you seemed to have missed on another day in class, or even have a new way of studying you never thought to try. Plus, a study buddy can help keep morale high during those late study session.
Study in an organized area
Attempting to focus in a messy space is just a recipe for disaster. A messy space has many things that can cause distractions from what you are trying to spend time on. Create a dedicated spot to do homework and study and keep it clean to help you focus.
If it is hard to keep spaces in your room clean, head to the library. It is the most valuable resource on campus, and it allows certain levels of silence and distractions. Also, if you need to be completely alone, the ONU library offers study cubbies that give you a small silent room.
Take regular breaks
Try and break up studying for the exam into days and even hours. Taking a break every 25 minutes is essential in helping you soak in the information you just learned and to prepare to learn more. Giving yourself a 5-15 minute break every 25 minutes can really benefit studying habits.
That doesn’t mean staring at your computer/phone screen any longer. It means reading a few pages in a book you enjoy, a quick 5-minute meditation or even taking a short walk to stretch and clear your mind.
Following these tips can help you come prepared to ace that first exam and continue to ace every exam after that. If you readers have any study tips that you think I missed, leave a comment and let me know.