Organize your notes by creating a personalized study guide
Even with the help of laptops and tablets, unless you’re a professional court stenographer, it’s always a challenge to capture everything the professor is lecturing about. A frantic dash of attempting to do so could result in pages full of unrecognizable writing. Trying to make sense of all your lecture notes a day or two before the final exam could cause more stress than necessary. Organizing study notes helps you make sense of the subject, and it causes you to acquire a better comprehension of the course material. This will only increase your chances of answering the correct questions on an exam.
Start studying as soon as possible
Even if your note-taking skills are impeccable, it’s important to not leave the material sitting until exam time. The sooner you begin to truly understand your coursework, the better chance you have at acing the exams. Your college education can only be achieved by completing the assigned work, reviewing study notes and other related material until you’ve fully comprehended the context of the subject matter.
You can study to memorize and/or comprehend. Memorizing your coursework and fully understanding it are two different things. While both techniques can certainly aid in helping you pass an exam, fully comprehending the work will take you further in your academic career. Getting a jumpstart on reviewing your coursework as soon as possible can help you get there!
Commit to a study schedule
Just as you are committing to coming to class to learn all you need to know about your aspired profession, you’ll need to commit at least 1 to 2 hours reviewing that material outside of class. The college classroom is about obtaining information. The work done outside of the classroom is about retaining what the professor has taught you. The best practice for committing to a study schedule is to treat your study time as a regular classroom setting, except with your study time, you are the teacher and your classroom can be what you want it to be.
Organize a study group
One of the best ways to study for an exam is to create a study group. Having the camaraderie of fellow classmates to help you get a better understanding of the assignments can only increase your chances of being fully prepared for an exam. Studying with other classmates will increase your retention. You’ll not only be able to strengthen your comprehension in areas that you need help in, you’ll also be able to help other classmates, which in turn will only strengthen your understanding of the coursework.
Create your own pop quizzes
Create your own pop quizzes by composing a list of questions. There’s no need to include information about material you already know. Concentrate on the material that you’re having the most trouble understanding. Developing a list of questions regarding this kind of material forces you to get a better understanding of the content in order to compose a competent question.
Reward yourself with a break
There is such a thing as exhausting yourself from studying too much. It is possible to read a piece of material repeatedly and not retain any of that information. If this is happening to you, then you probably need to take a break, although you shouldn’t wait until you’re mentally exhausted. After tackling a couple of chapters or passing your self-made study quiz, go and do something fun. Go out to dinner with friends, take a walk, go to the gym and exercise. Play a sport! Check out that movie everyone has been talking about. Just do something that doesn’t involve your academic studies. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what a difference stepping away from the books can do for your comprehension skills.
Sometimes, you just need to unplug—from everything. It’s easy to overcomplicate things, especially in the world of academia, but sometimes, the best solutions are often the most simplistic. A simple nap may be all you need in order to recharge the brain cells. We aren’t designed to operate 24 hours a day. Our bodies need rest so they can recharge. This includes our bodies and our minds. Staying up trying to “burn the midnight” oil is one of those traditional methods of last-minute studying, but is not recommended. By following the steps that we’ve suggested so far, you’ll have plenty of time for studying, rest and relaxation. Staying hydrated and eating the right kinds of food will also help aid in rejuvenating yourself.
Listen to instrumental music
Finding a quiet place to study can have its challenges. Even a library isn’t always completely quiet. In an era where the closest coffee shop suffices as the new library, silencing earphones and a killer playlist is usually accompanied with our studying tools. The disadvantage to listening to our favorite songs is that it has the power to distract our thinking, taking us to another place and time in our mind that the song has triggered. Creating a playlist of instrumental music is less likely to distract your focus and will simply serve as nice background music to silence any busy chit-chatter in your environment.
Review your old tests
Whether you aced the previous tests or didn’t do so well, you’ll likely have all of the correct answers there to review. In well-taught educational institutions, those that are accredited and regionally accredited, you will find that the earlier coursework is very much relevant to understanding the entire curriculum. Reviewing previous tests prepares you to developing a better grasp of the subject and profession at hand, and most importantly, the final exam!
Ask your professor to give an overview of what might be on the exam
It never hurts to get feedback from your professor. What better person to go to in order to prepare for an exam? Of course, your instructor will not give you the answers to the questions, but he or she can guide you in the right direction in terms of what kind of study content to focus on.
Reference your textbook for possible online study aids.
If nothing else, you have your textbook! For the traditional college textbooks, there is usually some type of overview after every chapter. Sometimes, there’s even information that directs you to a website with additional study aids. Use them! At Florida National University, a regionally accredited educational institution, we have a large academic library that our current students have complete access to.
Florida National University has a wide selection of quality degree programs that can be taken online or at any of our two campuses in Hialeah and Miami. We also have a financial aid office that can help you determine what kind of financial assistance you qualify for. Take a look at our fully accredited degree programs here, and then contact one of our admissions representatives today!