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The Do’s and Don’ts of Studying for a College Exam

Coming in as a first-year college student can be one of the second most stressful situations we do as 18 year olds. I know you may be wondering “why it is second?” Well, now that I have gone through 3 months of my first semester of college I have realized that the most stressful thing there is to do as college students are college exams. After going through a few exams myself I have made a list of DOs and DON’Ts that can successfully help me improve my success in an exam.

  1. DO- Find a personal spot where you feel prepared and relaxed. 

Finding a good spot to study is one of the most crucial steps to successfully understanding the material you are reading. Making sure you have no distractions like loud cars, dogs, people, TVs will increase your success rate in both actually understanding the data and feeling good about it. 

2. DO NOT- Attempt to cram the night before an exam 

Cramming for an exam is one of the most unreasonable and useless study habits there is in the book. Using the few hours before a test to read information over and over again will not work unless you have a photographic memory, in which case, cram all your heart desires. Cramming all through the night will not only leave you with little to no sleep but it can affect the brain functions that help you remember information that you have learned.

3. DO- Divide up material needed for the exam

The biggest mistake I found myself doing was consistently studying the material that was taught over a whole month every single night. A solution that I encourage for everyone studying for an exam is to split up the material in weeks of it being learned. I found it helpful to study for 1 week for 3 days and so forth. Also, a small study time that I found very helpful is to look over your class notes 30 minutes before and after each class time so that your remind is refreshed on the material that was covered in the class before.

4. DO NOT- Studying to remember, instead of studying to understand

Most college students study in order to remember every single thing we are taught in class. And after taking my first college exam I’ve realized that in order to remember everything that was taught it’s important to understand the actual material. Therefore, while studying it’s important to read and understand by connecting it to the information you know, which can develop a deeper understanding.

Hi! I'm Melody a current Communication and Leadership major at the University of Texas at Austin. I am a first-generation college student that comes from a small town in Mexico called Ibarra, Michoacan. Some of my current interests are cooking, coffee, dancing, social media, fashion and currently anything that relates to Taylor's Version.
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