Don’t Stress the Test!

Don’t Stress the Test!
8 Quick Tips on How to Study Effectively for Exams

Exams can be the most stressful time of the semester. Use the tips below to streamline your studying.

1. Plan, don’t cram!
Look at your exam schedule, verify the dates and times, and start prioritizing. Make a study session schedule (2 hours for algebra on Tuesday, 30 minutes for Spanish, etc.) based on your knowledge of the topic. When you make a schedule, stick to it!

2. Put away distractions.
If your study space is a mess, that can have an impact on your internal processing—clear your space, clear your head, and make room for all the information you’re getting ready to soak up. This includes your phone—if you see it sitting there, odds are, you’ll be tempted to swipe it open to check Facebook or other social media sites, and before you know it 15 minutes of your valuable study time is gone! Put it away.

3. Set up a study group.
Have a friend who struggles in math but is amazing at chemistry, where you’re great at math and need some extra help with titration calculation? Get together! Make sure you have a plan for what you’re studying, and again—put away the distractions and focus on your notes.

4. Look over old work.
Don’t relive the past, right? Wrong! Your exam is a giant test compiled from all your previous tests (usually). Additionally, this will help you get into the mindset and style of the way your teacher phrases/asks questions.

5. Talk it out.
When you say something aloud to someone else, you are processing it a number of ways—you are speaking and you are hearing. Studies have shown that the presence of someone else while you’re speaking dramatically increases your ability to understand and to recall what you’ve said aloud.

6. Write it down.
Make lists. Make charts. Take good old-fashioned notes. Your ability to organize all the information you’ve learned over the past semester will help you in the long run, especially if you can come up with charts you can recreate during the exam. Bonus points for acronyms!

7. Take care of yourself.
It’s tempting (sometimes) to stay up all night and pore over your Physics notes, but in the end, you’re doing your body and your brain a disservice. In order to function as highly as possible, you must be well-rested (8-10 hours), well-fed (nuts, tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries) and well-hydrated.

8. Pray.
This isn’t a safety net and it won’t help you get an A+ on every exam (especially if you didn’t study). God gave you a brain—use it! But remember that to God, even the little things are big things because you are His. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.” (Philippians 4:6, ESV)

Godspeed and happy studying!
What are some tips and tricks you like to use to prepare for crunch time?

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