Exam Season Study Tips

SUNY Oneonta

Maeve Bidonde, Staff Writer

It’s that time again in the year where teachers have nearly finished their material and announce to  their classes about upcoming exams, projects, or presentations. Whether it be a midterm or a final, it’s still a difficult thing to prepare for. Some of us have developed study methods over the years at Oneonta, but to those who are studying here for the first time will be a hand in tips and work tactics before the final days before the break begins. Here are some study tips to help you out. 

The first and most obvious tip is don’t cram at the last minute. Studies have shown that cramming can lead to test anxiety and stress, which have been proven to decrease a student’s confidence in their knowledge. With the goal of long-term retention, it’s been recommended to prepare a week or few days before taking any exams. If you find yourself struggling to study on your own, sources also recommend studying with someone in your class or visiting your teacher during their office hours to ask any questions.  

The next tip is carefully planning your study schedule. Creating a schedule surrounding your exam helps map out what you’ll focus on for the day before moving on to your studies. You can also dedicate this time to figure out when you’re the most proactive and likely to retain information. Studies have shown that it’s better to study during the day between morning and noon. Your study schedules can be a key to doing well on your exams and getting any work done before then. 

This other tip involves the creation and usage of flashcards. Looking back in your notes or textbook to find important study details such as terms and concepts can help when studying for your exams. Using the cards is convenient and the repetition of doing them helps you remember the content. Shuffling your cards after memorization helps in testing your knowledge and challenging yourself. 

Another tip is to study a little bit everyday. Even if you’re unable to make a study schedule, it’s better to review bits and pieces of notes each day leading up to your exams than not studying at all. Even if it’s for an hour, it’s proven to have helped students recognize answers to questions on their exams.  

The last and most important tip is to take breaks during your studies. Your mental and emotional health matter just as much as passing your exams. Taking a fifteen to twenty minute break helps center yourself after absorbing your material for a time. You can do anything from watching TV, texting a friend, getting a snack. You’ve earned it through hard work. This break incentivizes you and keeps your thoughts positive. Even a change of scenery can help too. Go for a walk to the library, around your living hall, or the study lounge. It’s harder to keep working without any breaks than it is taking an actual test. 

Hopefully these study tips help you do well on your exams. Take these study tips, find a productive space, and get studying.

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