Top 6 Study Tips to Feel More Prepared for Exams

Exams can be daunting and not everyone knows how to study well enough for an exam that they feel confident that they will do well. Here are 6 study tips that will help you study your material thoroughly and feel more prepared and ready to tackle that exam!

  1. 1. Start studying at least four days in advance!

    Studying for exams takes time and cramming at the last minute won’t help you learn everything properly. From experience, I find that starting to study at least four to five days in advance for exams helps me. After all of my lecture notes are written down and organized, I spend the first two days going through my notes and thoroughly making sure I understand them by rewriting them in the margins or writing down the main points on a notebook. This helps me know that I understood everything that was taught. Then, I spend the next two days doing practice problems or the study guides so that I get an idea of how to answer the questions related to the content as well as focus on concepts I am making mistakes on. I spend the night before the exam looking over recitation packets if there are any as well as case studies depending on the class. I spend the morning of the exam just reviewing concepts and doing a couple practice problems from each section.

  2. 2. Form study groups!

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    I personally find that studying with a group of people from the same class really helps me stay on track with the content and feel more prepared. Forming these groups allows you to discuss the topics and figure out the answers to questions that other people have that you may not have even thought of. Also, it helps you feel like you aren’t going through it alone and that you can ask for help whenever you want.

  3. 3. Attend review sessions!

    Review sessions are designed to be a crash course for the material that was taught for the exam. These really help hit the important details and key concepts that you must know for the exam and these concepts are retaught by students who have already taken the class before so they offer a new way of approaching it with tips and tricks that helped them prepare. Review sessions are a great place to ask for review of concepts you were struggling on and are a great place to ask questions.

  4. 4. Take and retake notes!

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    Taking notes throughout lectures is really important because this is essentially everything that is important for you to know. In order to take good notes, don’t copy word for word what the professor is saying but instead write short summaries and bullet points that explain the topic. Most of the time, professors use lecture slides that they post for you to fill out so that is a great way to take notes. After taking notes, I find it really helpful to retake notes. This means that you should go through and try to completely understand each concept and write your own notes either in the margin explaining what you just learned or write bullet points on a separate notebook. Rewriting notes in your own words helps you process your thinking and gain a deeper understanding of the content and thus learn it better

  5. 5. Do practice problems!

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    Practice problems aren’t always given to you but when they are don’t skip them! The practice problems are a way for you to test what you know and don't know and figure out what you need to relearn or ask for help on. Doing these problems will help you get an understanding of how the exam questions will be formatted and will train you to think the way that will allow you to succeed during the exam. These problems are a great way to analyze whether you know what you are studying or need to spend more time going over the content.

  6. 6. Go to office hours!

    Office hours are a great way to meet your professor and let them get to know who you are. When you go to office hours, you can ask your professor for help on any concept you need help on and they will explain it to you until you fully understand it. They are also the ones who wrote the exam so you can always ask them tips about how to prepare for their exam!

Even though exams may seem daunting, using these tips will surely score you that high grade. Good luck!