Like the rest of the population who think they have better things to do instead of studying before exams (eating, sleeping, watching movies, blogging), there does come a point in all of this when your brain rings the alarm bells “EXAM!! EXAM!!! TOMORROW MORNING YOU HAVE AN EXAM!!” I’m no exception as we speak. I don’t see myself ever having that eureka moment and apply myself to my studies as wholeheartedly as I’d like. The best way I’ve found is to create game plan, a strategy that will make exams less painful. That way when I’ve finished it feels less like a sprint (and being winded) and more like a easy jog.
1) Mark a Calendar:
I’ve never done well with planners, they’re always an out of sight out of mind type of tool for me. Instead I print out generic month calenders, nothing fancy with design or colour. That way when I fill in the days with exams (or assignments) it will stand out loud and clear. This way I’ll only feel the need to glance at it once a week, if that depending on the month.
Professor never tend to use to whole textbook they assign for their students, and sometimes even jump particular chapters. It’s such a waste of my time to flip through those pages trying to find the particulars. Using post-it tabs to mark the start of reading sections have made studying all the more bearable for me since I no longer get frustrated, annoyed, and put off all together. Make concise words on the tabs that make sense so you’ll know where to look. For example: “ch.1,” “pg.101-15,” “read,” etc.
3) Ask Questions:
Professors tend to be forthcoming with exam information. They want you to pass and do well, they’re always a few rotten apples but we’ll pretend they’re not one you currently have (unlucky for me). Asking them particulars about what to expect in the exam will do no harm to anyone. It’s really helpful too when its classes involving formulas or structure charts that need specific details.
- how many questions?
- multiple choice? short answer? fill in the blanks? T/F?
- how much time?
- what chapters will it cover?
If this is too much to ask, like me as an introvert, email the prof. Quickly though as they might not answer right away and you’ll want to give them a few days or the weekend to reply.
4) Practice! Practice! Practice!
If one of your exams involved writing out formulas as to explain how you got the answer, lots of practice can go a long way. You’ll start recognizing trends and terms used for exact types of equations (ie. balance sheet, cash flow, etc.). Your mind will lock that away in a muscle memory type box. So while your in exams your brain will recognized the words or terms being used and automatically jump into the question. I’m pretty sure that’s how I just passed my finance exams seeing as how I opened the text just 6 hours beforehand. PRACTICE!
This last suggestion only works when both you and the person your working with have the intention of studying, any indication of a social hour occurring will ruin these efforts.
5) Study Buddy:
If you have someone to bounce off thoughts and better understanding of concepts discussed, but not fully digested in class its always helpful to have an second head. Asking questions is also helpful because while your partner answers you have to make sure she has it correct, and if not? explanations from the inquirer will be needed and that itself is a type of study tool.
What I have found convenient about these tricks is 1-3 take 5 mins each to do, which is appealing to these procrastinator. Take the time to do those and a significant amount of wasted studying time will go away with it. Seeing as I now have an accounting exam coming up I will now put 4&5 to use ad cross my fingers that all goes well.
Note to self: Google is off limits too….. way too many things on the internet to get distracted from, like these images.