Exam season is upon us and studying for finals has commenced. I have compiled the best study tips that I have used during my university career (so far):
1. Know How You Learn
Knowing your learning style is the first step to studying effectively. You can take this quiz to find out if you are an auditory, visual, or tactile learner. I discovered in high school that I am a visual learner, and I have been able to take advantage of this knowledge when it comes to studying. Check out these tips for all three styles:
- Record your lectures and listen to them at 1.5x the speed
- Make up rhymes/songs to sing in your head to remember information
- Read your textbook or notes out loud (in private), pretend you’re teaching someone and explain the concepts
- Use practise tests or ask your prof for sample questions
- Use a white board to work through problems and questions
- Write out terms, definitions, or formulas to remember them better
- Make mind maps to help yourself understand the relationships between topics
- Colour code- use different highlighters, pens, or font colours to help you relate topics and concepts
- For conflicting ideas, write them side by side to indicate in your mind that they are opposing
2. Find Your Motivation
Big Goals: Whether it be a certain grade to maintain a scholarship or program, or a bigger goal of what you want to do after your undergrad (law school, med school, etc.), in those moments when you don’t want to study, its good to remind yourself of what you’re working for. You can put your goal on your wall or use an inspirational quote as a wallpaper on your laptop.
Small Rewards: Let’s be real: studying can be boring. Reading a textbook (without pictures!) can be sleep-inducing; but small rewards can help motivate you to get through it. Try putting small candies on your textbook pages that you get to eat as you finish each paragraph. This is a popular tip that actually works! Bonus tip: use different flavours of candy for each subject and eat them again in the exam to help jog your memory (example: cherry flavour = sociology)!
3. Break It Down
Use an agenda, calendar, or list to break down your studying by chapter, lecture, or major topic. Assign yourself one or two sections to study each day for the one or two weeks leading up to the exam and then review everything the two days before. This method will help you to get through the material without feeling overwhelmed.
I use an app called ToDoIst that helps me plan out tasks and assign them to a certain date. It also has an option to create colour-coded lists for those visual learners out there!
Those are my 3 favourite tips for studying, but you can post your favourite tips in the comments as well! Good luck on exams everyone!