Your Exam Survival Guide: Study Tips

Let’s be real: unless you’re some kind of extraterrestrial being (in which case, please feel free to abduct me sometime before finals season), I’m sure you’ve at some point this semester found yourself having zero motivation to do anything school-related. If you’re anything like me, you’ve felt that way a little too often. The point is that no matter how much we might love our programs or how on top of things we aim to be, it’s easy to get into what I like to call the “no-Mo Slump.” I’m sure you’ve seen the all-too-relatable memes that are currently flooding Facebook.

…and that’s why I bring you the following 5 motivational tips to get you through the last stretch of the semester:

1) Keep your to-do list reasonable
It’s easy to plan ahead and make long lists of tasks for future you to accomplish, but it’s just as easy for things to get in the way and overbook yourself. When outlining what and how much work you’ve got to get done, make sure to keep your list reasonable. This way, you get the minimum amount done and can even aim to overachieve if you have the time! It leaves you feeling much better than scheduling too much and only being able to get half of it done.

2) On the topic of lists and schedules, plan to take breaks
Whether you’re trying to re-watch all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls before its revival or you just got hooked onto Black Mirror, we know ourselves well enough that we have to be honest and not be too hard on ourselves when we get to work. It doesn’t do any good to slip into the Netflix void when we’d planned the night before to spend the day doing nothing but studying. Plan to study for an hour or so and then let yourself watch an episode. Schedule in breaks and find a gratification system that works for you, but be sure not to get sucked into marathoning an entire season, or at least not until you’ve finished what you’d planned to.

3) Maintain consistency
You’re only making it harder for yourself to be productive during the last few weeks of the semester when final assignments and essays are due if so far you’ve been slacking off. Not to say that you should all be early birds or working constantly, you should just try to remain a bit consistent. It doesn’t always have to be all or nothing! Wake up around the same time, go to bed around the same time, plan to go to the gym even just once a week if that’s all you’re able to, work at the library every so often between classes to stay ahead of your work, get the gist? We can’t always be perfect, but we can try to get our minds and bodies into the habit of productivity so that we stay on top of our work. Going back to point 1, don’t set outrageous goals. Doing something is better than nothing whether it’s only a 15-minute workout or just 30 minutes spent on studying. 

4) Encourage yourself
Don’t put yourself down just because you’re behind, or because up until this point you’ve been totally procrastinating. Negativity won’t help you get your work done. The main thing is that you’ve acknowledged your faults, and that you do want to work harder. Praise yourself for anything that you’re able to accomplish and know that even with your doubts, it’s going to be okay as long as you try your best. Your hard work won’t betray you.

5) Figure out what works best for you
Whether you’re a visual or tactile learner, it’ll do you good to know what kind of studying methods work best for you. It may take trial and error, but you should play around with flash cards, colourful notes (written or typed), or saying things aloud and carry out whichever strategy is most effective. This way, you don’t spend time writing out page after page of notes if it turns out that it doesn’t do you as much good as perhaps doing practice tests do. Sometimes it takes a multitude of approaches. For example, writing point-form notes on the subjects you know better and doing practice questions on those that you find more difficult would be a good strategy. It may seem like common knowledge, but finding the right rhythm of study techniques can go a long way.

Now these are just a few tips and tricks that have worked for me in terms of finding motivation and staying motivated this semester. If you want a part 2 of this series, be sure to let us know of Facebook or Twitter! We’ve got just over a week of November left, so hang in there and try your best to not give into your dark side!


Source: Cover Photo