Wait! There's Still Hope For Your Grade!

Tick, tock, tick, tock. Time is speeding past, and you’re hanging on to the edge of sanity as you prepare last minute for an exam you could’ve done so well on... If only you’d just started studying earlier.

Well, it’s too late now. There’s no time to ruminate on what could have been. Procrastination is what got you here, so let’s stop wasting time and maximize what little we have left! You may not ace the exam with these last-minute tips, but you’ll definitely give yourself the leg up to do well! It’s time to stop focusing on little details and study the big picture! With a good grasp on what the bigger picture is, you’ll have enough skills to deduce the right answer!

Your primary focus

The textbook is now your friend even though you probably never even glanced at it the entire semester. Now is it's time to shine. Drag the poor thing out of the dark corner it’s been stashed in, and crack it open to the table of contents. Locate all the chapters you have to study for your exam. Don’t worry, I’m not going to make you read the entire chapter. Flip through the book, read the headings, the picture captions, and finally at the end of the chapter, the summaries. Go over them at least three times to solidify the terminology and theories in your head.

Tap into your imagination!

Mnemonics may seem silly, but when that crazy mental image you visualized while studying pops back in your head during your exam, it may just save your grades! Unless you have a gifted photographic memory, it’s not feasible to expect yourself to have a strong grip on all the new terms before the exam. Mnemonics eases the task of sheer memorization. You can associate words with the first letter of the term you need to know. A string of outrageous words, the crazier the better, will stick in your head, and recall will be a lot better than trying to remember a bunch of obscure letters.

For example: IgG, IgM, IgE, IgA, IgD vs: Greg Made Eggs, And Died

Study smart, not hard

Use smart thinking and attempt to physically store the information into your brain instead of hoping it will passively stick. You can differentiate words that sound the same or are under the same topic by thinking about what the words sound like. Take that and visualize an image or quick scenario in your head. You will feel yourself retaining what you’re studying - and that will give you the confidence to keep going!

For example, close your eyes and imagine Scarlett Johansson leaving an A-lister party because she can’t stand the toxic people inside; they were giving her a headache. It was so humid in the party she’d been sweating. Now as she walks outside, her face flushes red against the cold wind, almost looking like a red rash. She’s eating a strawberry to soothe her sore throat because she’d argued for hours with the people inside the party.

Okay. Now here’s what you learned:

  1. Scarlet Fever is characterized by Strawberry tongue

  2. It presents as a red rash

  3. Symptoms include fever and headache

  4. It’s caused by Group-A beta hemolytic strep. bacteria which produce an erythrogenic toxin

Warm up your hands!

Write everything out! All the mnemonics, stories, and images you’ve conjured up during your study period, write it on a piece of paper. Writing will help facilitate what you’ve learned, and putting it on paper will allow your brain to remember. Besides, on your commute to school, you can’t be lugging around your binder or textbook, but you can carry a piece of paper.

You should put in effort every day, but sometimes life happens, and we find ourselves in circumstances we wouldn’t wish upon our enemies (Thousands of pages to read, hundreds of slides to review and no time at all to do anything!). The number one thing to do is de-stress by breathing slowly, and take it one page at a time.