Preparing for final exams can lead to anxiety and stress for many students. Planning ahead can reduce this stress and help you manage your study time more effectively. To study SMARTER, not harder, here are some tips for exam success:
- Start to study at least two weeks in advance of your exams.
- Begin the process by making a list of all the courses for which you have exams, and then estimate the number of hours you think you will need to spend on each course.
- Create a calendar or use this FREE template to map out your study schedule. Depending on how much time you have each day, decide how many subjects you will study per day and fill in the template with those subjects to keep yourself on track.
- Before you begin studying, think about your study habits, and see if you can incorporate some of these effective study techniques to make study time less frustrating and more productive:
Practice, practice: Research shows that taking a practice exam is an effective way to prepare for a test. Use old quizzes, class notes, and your study guide to predict what your teacher will ask on a test. Look at chapter headings in your textbook and turn them into questions. Check in with friends to discuss what material they think is most important, and then create your own practice test.
Venture out: Consider studying in a setting other than your bedroom or dining room. Try a study carrel at the library or a coffee shop with a low level of background noise. Getting out of your regular environment may increase your focus and make your study time more beneficial.
Take a break: Research demonstrates the benefits of taking study breaks. These include improved memory, so allow yourself to take a short break after 45-60 minutes of focused study time.
Get moving: Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and it benefits both your body and your mind. In fact, studies support the idea that exercise improves memory and lengthens attention span; so, include thirty minutes of aerobic exercise in your schedule four or five days a week to improve your learning and memory.
Sleep on it: Before you get into bed, spend 15 to 20 minutes studying challenging material. Research shows that studying new material right before a good night’s sleep helps the brain form new connections and supports memory.
Want to do better on your upcoming final exams? Try incorporating these strategies right now and feel better prepared. Your confidence will get a boost so you can do your very best.
Need more helpful strategies and tools to learn and practice this summer for future tests? Consider one of these carefully crafted small-group classes from the RITES Study Skills experts:
Study Smarter, Not Harder Plus Writing (Middle School) – Providence and East Greenwich
Study Smarter, Not Harder (High School) – Providence and East Greenwich
Getting nervous about the SAT or ACT? Consider RITES one-to-one personalized SAT/ACT prep.