Helpful Tips for Preparing for an Exam

REBECCA BONNEY

We all dread having to take an exam; let’s be honest, it sucks and
it doesn’t make sense why we have to take them. Studying takes up our free time, causes stress, and sleep deprivation. Since we all want to get through school and graduate, we have to endure them. Most students opt to study last minute, cramming in as much information as they can for hours-or even minutes-before they take their exams and sometimes they end up lucky and actually get a passing grade, however, the chances of that happening every time is slim. To make sure that doesn’t happen, here are a few helpful tips that will make studying a little easier.

Study in groups, this is a great way to study. It gives you an opportunity to compare notes with other students in your class and to ll in those gaps of information that you might have missed. You also won’t feel the pressure of thinking you’re the only one stressing about the exam. Gather up a few-or all-students from your class and arrange a time to meet and study. You can take turns in teaching everyone about a subject or section of the material. The school provides tutors and SI, or supplemental instructor, sessions that are free and very helpful. Professors will usually ask upperclassmen who have taken their class and know the subject well to be an SI for their class and set up their own study sessions where they will help you learn or review the material better, if you are struggling.

SIs are also provided with knowledge about what the exams will be like and can guide you towards what you should expect the questions to be like. They are there to help you understand the class and they want to make sure you do well, so don’t pass up on the opportunity to have a free SI or tutor.

If study groups aren’t your thing, and you prefer to study alone, then you can try using ash cards and quiz yourself on the material. You can make ash cards the old-fashioned way by physically writing them down on index cards or you can do it electronically using quizlet.com. You can make your own, or find some that someone else made. They offer a variety of quiz games that will turn your notes into a fun way to study.

Another way to prepare yourself for an exam is to study for 30 minutes every day for a week in advance. This might not be the most popular way to study amongst students because, who has the time? College students have enough on their plates, but this is an effective way to study without causing too much stress by trying to cram everything in at once.

Here’s a bonus tip: Chew some gum while studying and then during your exam chew that same flavored gum. Your brain will associate chewing gum and tasting the same flavor to when you were studying and will help you retain some of that information. I’ve been doing this trick every time I study for an exam and it’s pretty effective. Test it out and see if it works for you!