College exams can be overwhelming, especially when you have more than one to deal with in a single week. Mastering good study techniques has a lot to do with time management and the ability to retain information. It can be a lot but don’t panic; I have some tips that will help you study better.
I believe that where you actually sit down to study can make a world of difference. Try to go to a place where distractions are at a minimal. A lot of people live with roommates during their college years and it’s sometimes hard to study with another person around who isn’t also studying. Choose a quiet place like the library or create a study space in your dorm or apartment. Make sure it’s a place where other things won’t distract you. I’ve met a lot of people who study with the television on and don’t understand why they aren’t passing their tests. Even though they may believe that the television isn’t distracting them, it probably is. Turn off all electronic devices (besides your computer if you’re using it for a study tool).
Note cards have always been a popular study technique. For your upcoming exam, buy a set of note cards and write down questions on one side and the answers on the other. Note cards are particularly helpful when it comes to mastering terminology for your next test. Simply write a word on one side and the definition on the other. Be repetitive and look over them frequently. The more you study them and master the answers, the better prepared you’ll be for your next exam.
Get to know people in your classes and create a study group. Study groups can be extremely helpful. If you are having trouble understanding something, there is a good chance that somebody in your group will be better able to explain it to you in words that you’ll understand. Alternate asking each other questions about your upcoming exam and compare all your notes from that class. Chances are, somebody wrote down something you may have overlooked that will be helpful to know. Study groups are also a good way to divide work. For example, have one member write down all the important information from chapter 1, then assign another person to do the next chapter, and so on.
Creating your own practice test can also be helpful. Type out a list of questions that you think might show up on your exam and then fill in the answers. Use the book or other materials to be sure your answers are correct and then you’ll know what areas you need to focus more on. You can even make a multiple choice test for yourself or other members of your study group. Making tests for each other is also a great way to study.
It’s no secret that college students are very sleep deprived. We stay up for hours studying and forget that we are still humans who need sleep function. You’re not going to remember information you’re studying if you are half asleep while you’re doing it. Get the appropriate amount of sleep before taking an exam and even before studying for one. You’ll be surprised at how much more information you’re able to hold on to with a good night’s rest under your belt.
Having a schedule is also very important to managing your study time properly. I like the idea of having a daily organizer. It will better organize what assignments are due and when your exams are. It’s also a good idea to set aside so many hours a day to study for an upcoming exam. Schedules will keep your body in a rhythm that will aid your studying.
The last and final piece of advice for studying is to keep at it. I know it can be frustrating, especially when you don’t feel like your grasping the material that you need to. Yet, it’s important to stick to your schedule and use repetition. Use flash cards, practice tests and study groups and frequently read and look over your notes. If you keep at it, you’ll master the information in no time and you’ll be on your way to an A in the class.