Getting through exam season can be a hard feat when all you can think about are your spring break plans. Here are some tips on how to ace them before your big trip!
1. Memorize The Syllabus
Preparing for exams can be difficult as it is, but getting a hold of that syllabus will prepare you for not only all of the assignments that will eventually be due but what chapters each test will be on. Almost if not all your professors should have at least an outline of a syllabus, and if they don’t, ask them to make one for you! Professors (the good kind, at least) will never turn down a student looking to get ahead and ace their class. Planning ahead is the biggest and most important step to acing your exams and passing your classes. Unless you’re one of those rare (and annoying) students that have never studied a day in their life and pass anything anyway, make sure to plan, plan, plan!
2. Study Every day
That’s right. Every. Day. Nothing good comes from cramming the night before an exam. While those with photographic memories can maybe–and I mean maybe–get away with it, cramming does not do any good for anybody.
Studying doesn’t have to be a giant choir. Spending at least 20 minutes a day reading and memorizing the chapter for that week will surely benefit you in the long run. By the time exam season rolls around, you’ll be grateful that you spread out your time wisely instead of waiting until the last minute to pick up your textbook.
3. Organize Your Notes
I’ll be the first one to say that I am horrible at note-taking. I either highlight an entire page in my chapter book or nothing at all. I’ll scribble down completely useless and unimportant information instead of taking down the facts that our test will be on. And that is after I finally decipher what my awful handwriting actually says. Now, if you don’t have dainty neat handwriting perfect for note-taking, my advice is to invest in a laptop.
Laptops make note-taking insanely easier than using just your basic paper and pencil. Say goodbye to going out of your way to replace your dried out highlighters and broken or lost pens. Not only will you be able to save some of your hard-earned cash, but it makes organizing notes for your exams that much simpler when don’t have to lug around ten different notebooks and dividers.
4. Set Up A Reward System
Setting up some sort of reward system for yourself will help turn a not so fun task such as studying into something at least a little more tolerable. If you’ve been craving that chocolate bar all day, cut it up into pieces and give yourself one each time you finish a chapter! Spent an hour studying? Spend the next hour watching that Netflix show you’ve been dying to catch up on. It might be hard to not do those things regardless, but mentally preparing yourself for this kind of reward system will pay off in the long run. These rewards might be small, but they will help break apart the monotonous choir of studying for that test next week.
5. Find A Study Group
Studying for exams alone can become rather lonely after awhile. Finding the right study group can help you learn faster and sharpen your skills without going through the internal struggle of keeping yourself awake to do so. While finding the right study group can be a tad difficult at times, once you find that perfect match, you’ll be in for a treat. Don’t use a study group session as an excuse to get together with your friends and hang out and have a good time. You’ll be doing that over spring break. Instead, talk to people in your class and try and set up a time and place to have a real study session. Studying alone can be a daunting task, but having people by your side struggling with the same thing can help you push through and ace your assignments.
6. Limit Distractions
I’ll admit that my phone is by far my biggest distraction. The second my mind wanders away from my notes, bam! My hands are scrolling through my Instagram feed. In order to prep for exams efficiently, limit those distractions. When it comes to studying, the internet is not our friend. Turn off that phone! Cut the wifi if you have to! Along with cutting off all technology, make sure you’re in a conducive environment to studying. Trying to focus in a dorm full of loud roommates is just as bad as watching a TV show as you try and read. Go to the library, or even a park if it’s nice outside. Either way, find someplace quiet.
7. Get Your Spring Break Planning Out Of The Way
Nothing is more distracting than planning your big spring break vacation as you try and study for your exams. I can nearly picture it: it’s a week before spring break and all you can focus on is what to pack on your travels. Who cares about exams when you don’t know who’s carpooling with who? Well, in order to ace your exams, get all of that planning done and dealt with. We all know those unconcerned feelings toward school when a break is only a short time away. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve thought, “Who cares about school? I’ll be in Florida in a few days.” But the last few days before spring break are the days you need to push through and do your best to ace those exams. That’s why following the tips listed above should help you through those exams without having to cram. You don’t want to have to repeat a class just because you didn’t take the proper steps to pass it.