Hi hi! So I have an AP Exam that I have to start studying for. I have two concerns: remembering all that information and time. Any advice?
Hi, thanks for asking! Well there’s a lot to say about studying for any exam. I’m likely going to write another post about studying for exams in more detail, but that’s planned for the far future at this point. Since you need the info now, I’ll just do dot points as there are a lot of facets to cover.
STUDYING FOR EXAMS
- For general tips on Studying and Exams
- Work out how much time you have left - schedule your study sessions.
- Make a schedule. Study hard stuff first.
- Discipline, stick to schedule.
- Take breaks.
- Don’t forget to eat or any other health related thing - health first!
- Try and have enough to go over the content twice - once thoroughly, and the second time briefly 1-2 days before the exam.
- Work out what type of exam and study accordingly
- essay (pick topics and practice essay questions) or
- MCQ (broad area of subjects tested, can be quite specific, so pay attention to important details, e.g. for diseases, focus on clinically relevant points before focusing on aetiology/pathophysiology)
- short answer similar to MCQ
- Work out what you don’t understand (concept wise), email prof/ask friends/read textbook and sort that out before anything else.
- Study in blocks of around 3-4 hours before switching subjects, with short 10 minute breaks every hour - enough for you to get stuck into it, but without burning you out.
- Everyone is different, so feel free to adjust to your liking.
- No distractions. Work in quiet/cafe-volume place, or classical music only when memorising.
- Studying itself - TEST YOURSELF
- Highlight, read aloud or type - whatever works for you.
- Blank paper method - just jot down everything you know, before and after studying - helps to track your progress too.
- Understand the concepts, don’t just memorise unless unavoidable.
- Explain concepts to plastic duck or dog.
- That being said, you still need to memorise lots, so use flashcards if possible.
- Use mnemonics if possible, but some subjects there are too many mnemonics to memorise e.g. side effects of medication - in this situation, understand the pharmacology and you should be able to eke out the conditions.
- Use a story to remember mnemonics.
- Use a flowchart of trigger words for essay type exams
- Why? Because if you memorise a section, you may sometimes need a prompt to regurgitate that info. Ergo, if promptless, you may forget whole sections.
- Have a trigger word for each section, and test yourself - write just the triggers on a blank page, and regurgitate sections.
- Then memorise the trigger words in a series of flowcharts.
- Use a story to remember flowchart/trigger words.
- Write trigger words or any other keywords on a “cheat sheet” or “index card”.
- Exam itself
- Get a good night’s rest
- Drink water, eat breakfast
- Pack everything the night before
- Make sure calculator is approved
- Toilet before exam
- Don’t get nervous, don’t stand around nervous people
- Breathe, try not to care about exam (helps with performance anxiety)
- Easy questions to hard questions
- Move on if you get stuck
- Read carefully
- MCQ - avoid choosing “always” or “never” if you have no idea
- Plan before answering essay questions
- Don’t leave early
- Keep checking answers until the end
- Check answers by rereading question - sometimes you miss words
This turned out so long despite just being dot points wow. I’m sure this will help :)