Exams are coming up and you are starting to freak out thinking that you will fail them. We know the feeling because we have all been there but do not worry, we got your back as we will help you pass your exams with flying colors. Keep scrolling to find out how to get that A+.
How to prepare and study effectively for final exams
Everybody has their method to learn and study, but there are a few golden rules that anybody can benefit from.
1. Attend classes
Sometimes, when outside is snowy and windy, it can be hard to get out of bed. But when it comes to exams, the secret to success is attending classes. During classes, professors tend to concentrate on those topics that will be more relevant during exams, and sometimes they give information that you cannot find in textbooks.
Attend every class, take notes, and participate actively, asking questions and replying to them. If possible, ask your professor to record lectures so that you can listen to them again if you need to.
2. Start early
One of the most asked questions by students is, “When should you start studying for final exams?”. There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but students often underestimate the importance of studying early on. Most students take it easy as exams seem far away, but the truth is they come pretty quickly, and before you know it, you are cramming to learn everything on your syllabus.
At the end of each week, set aside a bit of time to go over your notes and make sure you understand everything. If something is not clear, talk to a friend or a classmate, or even better, take advantage of your professors’ office hours. And if you missed a class, make sure to ask someone for notes as they are the golden ticket to get a perfect grade.
“A mind of moderate capacity which closely pursues one study must infallibly arrive at great proficiency in that study”
– Mary Shelley
3. Create study guides
We know how much one has to study for an exam and if you do not want to drown in notes, essays, and textbooks, we suggest creating study guides. Study guides are a helpful tool to organize information and improve comprehension.
Read all the class material to get the gist of it, and then start creating study guides. If you feel it would help, color-code the study guides to rank them in order of importance.
Remember to ask your professor if the exam will be multiple-choice, oral, true/ false, or an essay, and adapt your studying method accordingly.
4. Quiz yourself and make it fun
For us, the best tip of all is to make it fun. Learning should also be about having fun, and games can help you boost your memory, remember all of your notes, and keep you motivated.
Whether you go to high school, university, or college, flashcards are the way to go. You can even invite your friends over to test each other’s knowledge. And if you are studying for that dreadful exam on Spanish subjunctives or the one on the 35 Hungarian cases suffixes, we suggest using Vocapp to create your flashcards. Flashcards are a great way of learning and can be handmade or online. Remember that if you use an app, you can review for your exam just minutes before it starts.
In addition to flashcards, you can use mnemonic devices such as songs, rhymes, acronyms, and sentences to remember the trickiest things. Acronyms and sentences are helpful when memorizing long lists of objects or names. Who knew that to remember the name of the planets, one had to say, “My very educated mother just served us noodles?”. We didn’t, but if you think about it, all the names are there – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.
“Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.”
— Leonardo da Vinci
5. Organize your space and put away all distractions
Study guides? Check. Notes? Check. Tools for a fun learning experience? Check. Wait, something is missing. Oh yes, that would be snacks, water, good lighting, a comfortable chair, and a big enough desk.
The key to an effective learning environment is organizing the space to limit all distractions and maximizing your time. Everything you need should be in sight and ready to use, and if you are studying on your laptop, remember to get the charger before starting. We know how annoying that low battery notification is. You could try listening to classical music to improve your concentration while studying.
Also, remember to silence your phone. Multitasking is no good, and your friends can wait to comment on the last episode of your favorite tv show.
6. Study smarter, not harder
Did you know that the human brain can work on the same task for only 45 minutes before its attention starts fading?
Organize short study sessions of about 30 minutes followed by a break of about 5 minutes to listen to some relaxing music or get yourself a sandwich. You are feeding the mind through studying, but do not forget to feed your stomach!
7. Day of the exam
The day is finally here, and we are sure you will do well. Before sitting for your exams, remember to drink and eat something and to turn off your phone.
As everything is moved online due to the pandemic, do not cheat on your exams. We know that you are ready for it, and we will be cheering for you.