As someone who failed over 5 exams my first semester in college, I know what it feels like to study hard and end up with a low grade. If your study techniques aren’t working for you, it’s time to change something up! I went from getting C’s and B’s to acing almost all of my exams last year, despite being in the hardest classes I’d ever taken (hello engineering physics!), all thanks to these daily habits!
1. Do homework problems, even if they aren’t being graded
The purpose of homework isn’t to punish you (although it definitely feels like it sometimes), but to prepare you for problems you’ll possibly see on exams. A lot of professors assign optional homework, which will sometimes contain exact problems on your exam! Even if they don’t, doing homework problems every day will make them feel like second nature after a few days, so by the time your exam comes around, you’ll know the material well enough to apply it to the test problems.
If your professor hasn’t assigned any homework, head into office hours and ask if they can point you to some good problems to practice on. You might end up with an advantage over your classmates, or at least a good visit that shows you’re invested in the class!
2. Look over your notes and rewrite anything you’re struggling with
Rereading your notes is pointless if you already feel confident with what’s in them, so instead of going through 20 pages a day, figure out what topics you’re struggling with and focus on them. I like to rewrite those sections after my main notes, and repeat the process everyday until I’m confident with everything! You could also add a star next to each tough section if rewriting isn’t your thing.
3. Make a study plan every morning
Balancing your time between subjects is critical to doing well in all of them. Every morning, wake up early enough to write down exactly what you need to study, and how long you want to spend on each subject. You can keep a running to-do list with all the topics you’re covering in class to make this easier. Be sure to include some breaks in there, because studying for hours on end will burn you out! I like using this Pomodoro timer to keep track of how long I’ve been working and time my breaks.
Related: How To Ace Your College Math Class
4. Actually go to class
It can be so tempting to skip a class if you’re having an extra lazy day, but I promise you’ll regret it when the exam comes around and you missed an important lesson! Sure you can grab the homework from a friend or have someone give you a run down of the lesson, but you never know when your professor is going to give out exam advice or do a problem that’s on the test. Going to class will also keep you invested and motivated to study, and I can tell you first-hand that skipping one class leads to skipping a lot more!
5. Find supplies that get you motivated
If you dread writing notes and study guides on paper, try finding some stationery that makes it a bit more interesting! I absolutely love Mildliner highlighters (a favorite of studyblr writers) and Sharpie pens. If you like taking a single notebook with you everywhere, Moleskine’s are my go-to!
6. Look ahead
I always try to keep the week ahead of me in mind when I’m studying for exams. If I start feeling burned out on a subject, I schedule some time in to work on it a different day. Know how much time you have before all of your exams, and prioritize which ones you should work more on now and which you can push off for a day or so. The goal is to stay as stress-free as possible while still being productive every day!
Of course, studying everyday isn’t too much fun, so when scheduling out your study times, leave a good chunk of time for relaxing every few days. I always make sure to leave my Saturday’s completely free, and that’s when I get most of my blogging stuff done! It’s also my buffer day in case I get totally overloaded with work during the week and need an extra study day.
Have any study tips you want to share? Let me know in the comments!
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