Study Smarter for Your Next Exam

Now that classes are in full swing, midterm exams and essays are back in town, and have brought their sister Procrastination with them.  If you’re anything like me, you’re absolutely dreading your first round of exams.  Luckily though, I have been doing this whole student thing for quite awhile now, (try 16 years, YIKES!) and have perfected the art of studying.  I’m here to offer you my best studying tips and tricks to make your next exam a little less stressful.

Study Tip 1: Flashcards really do help, especially for those classes that are pure memorization (hello, medical terminology!).  Not only will the process of making your flashcards help you memorize your key terms and facts, but they’re the perfect size to keep in your backpack or purse, so you can whip them out anytime you have a few free minutes.

Study Tip 2:  Make a study schedule.  I LOVE being organized.  I look forward to buying a spiffy new academic planner at the start of each semester, and I did in fact ask for a label maker for my 16th birthday (and was gifted not one, but THREE of them).  Making a study schedule is a sure way to stay organized when preparing for your next exam.  Now, I won’t sit here and tell you that you need to start studying for your exams weeks in advance, because God knows I don’t.  Instead, give yourself five days, and study for about one to two hours each day.  Write down exactly what you plan on doing each day, whether it’s rereading a chapter of your text, or reviewing your flashcards for 45 minutes.  Here’s the hardest part… You actually have to stick to your schedule!

Study Tip 3:  Get out of your house.  I know for me, if I try to sit in my living room and study, I won’t go more than 5 minutes without getting distracted by a riveting conversation with my roommates, or the newest episode of The Real Housewives of NYC.  Grab your books and head to the library or nearest coffee shop, and just get it done.  Try to avoid bringing your laptop, because we all know Facebook will be calling your name the second you open that chemistry book.