We’ve all been there.
After what seems like forever, the end of the semester is now upon you. It can sometimes feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.
Well, guess what, it’s time to stop worrying and start getting your hands dirty in some good, old-fashioned studying!
Create a study schedule … and STICK TO IT!
Find the place that suits you best and hunker down there for most of the day every day during exam week. While there are many temptations out there — end-of-the-semester parties, sorority/fraternity functions, etc. — you aren’t allowed to play until you’ve put your time in.
What I would do is take out my planner and look to see which exams were scheduled for each day. Then, based on the amount of time that I had to prepare, I would break down each exam into chapters or sections. That way, I was only going over a certain amount of material each day to avoid cramming. The next day, I would quickly review what I had gone over previous days to make sure it all made sense and that I still remembered it. If I didn’t remember it, I would take note to remind myself I needed to take time out that day to study the information again.
You can make schedules all day, but you’ve got to stick to it to make it effective. I would not allow myself to do anything fun until I accomplished my studying for the day. You’ve got to have a crazy amount of self-discipline to get through this, but it works!
Find your best method of studying
Some people love to make flashcards … and that’s perfectly fine … but I’ve never been much of a flashcard person. Mostly because I don’t feel like putting in so much effort into something I’m going to end up throwing away later. I realized that doesn’t work for me, so I found something else that did.
I’ve found that rereading the information over and over and making sure I understand it works best for me. Then, I’ll make myself a mini test by writing down the words/terms/dates I need to know and make myself write down the answer without looking at my notes. This ensures I actually understand what I’m looking at (and am not just memorizing it) and it doesn’t take much effort because I would type it up instead of writing it out. When I’m done, I am able to figure out what I know and don’t know and then move on.
Group studying is pointless
I mean, seriously. I’ve never been in a group studying session that really advanced my knowledge before an exam. While it may work for some people, I’ve never been able to get it to work for me. While it could be helpful to break up a study guide among a few of you, I promise you won’t know the information as well unless you put in the effort yourself. I think it’s better to focus on what your own weaknesses are before the exam and seek out help from a professor or TA instead.