1. Start the semester strong by developing good notetaking methods
A big mistake some people make is by being too relaxed at the beginning of the semester. They’ll take it easy, take some mediocre notes, then start to panic when the midterm comes around. You need to find a good notetaking method ASAP and follow it consistently. Taking good notes is essential to good studying habits.
2. Study frequently
I say this all the time, but studying every day or every week is so much more effective than waiting until the day before the exam to start studying. Study often and you won’t have to cram at the end of the semester. It doesn’t have to be long, intense study sessions; just study for 20 minutes every day and you’ll start to memorize and retain so much more information than if you’d just waited until the night before the final.
3. Create practice tests
Sites like quizlet can help you develop your own practice tests for classes. Practice tests are a great studying tool because they will help you identify the material with which you’re having issues, so you know what you really need to study and what you already know pretty well.
4. Attend study sessions
If you’re lucky enough to have a professor or TA who holds a study session, go to it. They know what’s on the exam and they’ll definitely give hints about what you will need to know. This is also a great opportunity to ask questions about material you don’t understand.
5. Engage during class
I learn so much more when I’m actively talking to my professor and answering questions. Just sitting in class while mindlessly copying down notes won’t help you retain nearly as much as actually participating will.
6. Pretend to teach someone else the material
This is a great studying method because if you can effectively teach someone else something, then you know the material very well. One way that I do this is by summarizing my notes into a concise paragraph that would be able to teach someone the gist of the lesson.
7. Use all the time you are given for an exam
Don’t be the kid who leaves 20 minutes early during an exam. Double check your test. Triple check your test. Make sure you read each question carefully and you didn’t miss any “ands” or “buts.” Give yourself time to try to remember terms that you think you’ve forgotten. Test anxiety is a very real thing and if you take the full time to check over your exam, you’ll catch mistakes you made when you were frantically trying to complete the test.