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Hey all! I know we are just starting our college semesters off at the time of writing this and I think I would be a great reference for anyone expecting a ton of exams this semester! I have gathered up my best exam study tips from friends, family, and myself in order to write this article.
I wanted to make sure my exam study tips were very specific and actual strategies I used. Sometimes people are vague when giving advice, or they just show you their notes. Students need the tools for their future and it’s not always best to just use someone else’s methods for writing notes.
I want to provide tools for success, not just copying notes!
On my site, I have written an article on study motivation as well as school hacks. If you are in need of some inspiration, motivation, or need help navigating university/college in general, check them out!
If you are a freshman and new to this whole college life, I have just the article to help you start off on the right foot. But anywho, I hope these exam study tips, help you to ace your college exams! As well as being as prepared as possible with future exams.
Print out PowerPoint Slides and Organize Them in a Binder
The first thing I like to do when the semester starts is to print out the teacher’s PowerPoint slides and organize them in a binder. I feel that you should have all your material organized and ready to be analysed, not just in lecture, but during study time.
Organization of notes is key to success! Prepare to have dividers and print out lecture notes!
This may require you have a printer and it may be a little bit time-consuming but I have seen results! There are so many students that don’t even know the minimum material when I quote something from the slides. You will be one step ahead and thoroughly prepared when you can flip to the slide relevant at all times.
Some of the material isn’t in the book that the teacher wants you to know! So, it is vital that you have fully understood and memorized what is in the slides.
About 99 percent of the time I have seen that if you memorize the slides, you will at least get a B on the exam. I know that sounds far-fetched but so many professors just use slides nowadays!
MEMORIZE THOSE SLIDES AS THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENT!
Utilize office hours
There are a lot of students that are too afraid to confront their professor and have social interaction with them. The difference between the majority of honours students and students who aren’t honoured students is asking teachers a lot of questions.
I used office hours weekly and frequently!
Using office hours is comparable to utilizing the tutoring lab. The tutoring lab is great and maybe even an honourable mention, however, many times the tutors don’t know what your teacher is expecting.
Tutoring labs can waste precious time so be careful! Going to your instructor is going to be the safest choice when you have a question.
I know that with science courses there is a lot of room for misunderstanding and hours of wasted time. When you utilize your professor, you don’t have to assume what your teacher was trying to say. You can be confident in your understanding of the material!
You’re paying a lot for tuition, utilize your number one resource, the professor!
Watch Videos to Ensure You Have the Right Understanding
Videos are great for getting perspectives from other teachers or tutors online. Sometimes you may end up with a professor who is a dud and you can’t really get a clear answer. This is where videos come in, especially with science or history, you can get another spin on the subject matter.
I used a lot of khan academy to get me through scientific processes.
I remember the frustration of not understanding clearly what the teacher was saying. I felt like I needed more examples. Videos are great for seeing problems in maths or science set up for you to pause and try yourself.
Don’t underestimate the power of modern technology!
I have even seen where instructors recommended or require you to watch certain videos on the material, and then they have a quiz or assignment on the video. Maybe some would see this as being lazy, but, It allows you to avoid the non-relevant information. You will be able to notice the common trends when the topic of, say, glycolysis, is discussed.
Discuss With Other Students
I can’t stress enough alternate perspectives. If you have gotten confident enough that you think you know everything, try discussing the subject matter with another student and see what happens. Talking things out and re-explaining the material to someone else will help you remember what you already know.
Study Groups Are Good Once In A While! They help you to talk through different concepts and gain a clearer understanding!
I remember reserving study rooms and running through ALL of the material with other students to solidify my understanding of the material. Often times we would come up with questions to ask the teacher, so it was very helpful.
I do want to add a disclaimer though, a lot of the time students waste time communicating to other students TOO much. This can be a big trap if you are wrapped up into talking, eating, YouTube, music, etc…
Don’t waste time when you’re with other students, make sure to stay on topic and go through all the material! This will be the best use of your time!
I used to see a lot of students get nothing done when they would just be chilling with other students all day. So while it can be a great tool for some perspective, it can be your failure.
Use your tools effectively!
Read Chapters of book
This one should be fairly obvious, but, in order to FULLY know the material without any excuse for the upcoming exam, reading the book is key. I was more of a book skimmer but I definitely utilized this resource.
Many times biology books are optional so pick a really good one for a reference! There are endless resources for biology specifically.
You don’t always have to get the book in some courses but having a book is like an encyclopedia, you have an endless amount of information and the chances are, if you read the book, you have no holes in your knowledge.
A textbook will usually have the most knowledge on the subject, know how to look for the answers!
I used to be frustrated by how long and boring some of these chapters were but I realized that you need to take the key points and quiz yourself after each chapter. A lot of books have questions to quiz yourself as well as summaries to make sure you took the pertinent information from the chapter.
Lastly, make sure to use the index or the “control F” key to quickly find a term you are looking for. This is one great reason I love eBooks, they have made it incredibly easy to find anything!
These exam study tips should’ve been exactly what you need to get A’s on your exams and graduate with honours. I personally used these tips and consulted with my friends and family who were honours students in various fields, and I narrowed down the key points.
Making A’s takes dedication and active participation!
About The Author
My name is Danielle, I have been blogging for a little over a year now. Through the course of my college career, I realized I had many valuable pieces of advice. Blogging has given me an outlet that I never dreamed could exist and it is very therapeutic.
Blogging is a rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle!
I graduated with An Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts as well as an Associate of Science in Biology. Then I went on to receive my Bachelors in Biology (graduating with honours). I even attended a pharmacy school doctorate program for a bit (then realized it wasn’t for me).
I typically write about college success tips and motivation. Writing about pharmacy, school, study tips, school hacks, and even travel is something I like to focus on! I started blogging with an emphasis more on education but I have a few articles that are travel-related since I frequently travel.
These tips should be useful and encourage you to do your best in your education. I have spent many years in college learning through trial and error and now I feel that I have got it down! For more info about me or any questions, visit my webpage.