Effective study techniques are absolutely necessary if you want to prep for finals. Looking back, I should’ve used more of these techniques and maybe my life wouldn’t be where it is right now.
Okay, enough self-loathing, everything you need to need to know is listed down below.
1. Create Your Own Studyguide
Some professors will gift you a study guide. Others, will treat you like an animal and leave you to fend for yourself.
Outlining important information you need to know will help retain and understand the material far better than having it given to you.
Even if you have a study guide, make one containing info that’s not on it to fill in the blanks because the guide is just that: a guide.
2. Start Early
This is one of the most effective study techniques that I wished I used more. You know exactly when the final coming, so use that to your advantage.
The earlier you start, the better chance you have at remembering the information. You’re going to have more than one final anyways, so the sooner you start, the less likely you are to cram the night before.
3. Quiz Yourself
Probably the most effective study techniques out there. If you take the time to develop exam questions you’ll familiarize yourself with the information you need to focus on and study.
Doing this will help you set expectations of what you need to improve on. Flashcards can help with multiple-choice questions and open-ended answers.
Making ven diagrams and reviewing questions from old tests can be effective when drafting your own quiz.
In fact, I remember a professor who told us not to throw away old tests because they would come in handy for the final.
4. Create a Study Schedule
Splitting your material into chunks can be very beneficial if you have to study for multiple exams. I would recommend you focus on one subject a day.
5. Remove Distractions
I think this one is self-explanatory. In order to study effectively you need to eliminate any, and all distractions in your environment. In other words, don’t study in your room.
When you sit down to study, go to the quietest, and most secluded place you can find and get to work. Turn your phone off and resist checking your email.
Your mind will start to wander because studying can be a pain in the ass and boring as hell, but you’re in college for a reason. You might as well do all that you can to at least pass.
I understand distractions are abundant nowadays but don’t use that as an excuse. Silencing the world can be a great thing.
6. As Your Professor For Help
Your professor may seem intimidating or fun so do yourself a favor and ask them about the exam. Specifically, what information will be on it and what kind of test it will be.
Whether it’s multiple-choice, or essay questions, the type of test will influence your study techniques.
7. Take Breaks
You don’t want to cram at the last minute because you’ll exhaust yourself and remember absolutely nothing. That’s why it’s important for you to take a break from studying.
Some people recommend taking a break for five minutes every hour you study. I would say take like 10 because that’s what I do when I’m writing.
Walking away can be beneficial, but do not browse social media during the five or ten minutes. Take a walk outside or get some snacks to refuel. You’re going to need it.
8. Attend Class Reviews Or Organize Study Session
If your teacher is offering any study sessions or reviews, you need to attend every single one! Chances are they will go over any if not all information on the test.
This will give you an opportunity to ask more questions in a more personal manner. You can ask your teacher for further explanation without John getting pissed at you for asking 20,000 questions.
If your professor does not plan on having a class review, then organize your own. At first, it may seem like a daunting task, but it will be a lot easier to study this way.
You’re all trying to pass the same exam, so helping each other will only further that goal.
9. Prioritize Tests That Matter
Not all of your exams are going to be complicated and impossible. Some classes either aren’t as important as others or you actually know what you’re doing in them.
The best is when you have easy classes that have no final in them. Yes, they exist, I assure you. For example, my creative writing final was simply to collect a group of poems, craft my own, and create a chapbook for each.
I was able to finish it early on so I could focus on more important finals that year. I speak from experience when I say this is among the most effective study techniques.
10. Reward Yourself
Studying for 8-12 hours straight is soul-crushing. It’s possible to overstudy and get fatigued, but when you work a job your reward is money. The same rules apply when studying nonstop for a final.
Your hard work deserves to be rewarded. Go out and have a drink or shake that booty at the party. Scroll through Instagram and creep on your ex. Play an hour of PlayStation, or binge that new Netflix show.
The point is to do something you enjoy to contrast something you loathe. Hell, make it your new thing. For every hour you study, that’s how many episodes you get to watch or how many drinks you get to toss down your gullet.
If you incorporate this with all the other effective study techniques, not only will you ace those exams, but you’ll have a shit ton of fun doing it!
Just because it’s boring hard work, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself while doing it.