How to Prepare for Exams

How to Prepare for Exams

It is exam time, everyone! Hopefully, all of you are studying already. But in case you feel a bit overwhelmed, we have prepared some excellent tips for you to get you through the exam season. We got your back!

Ask your professor

First, ask your professors how to prepare. They are the ones who will grade you, after all. What will the test cover? Get insides from older students because the test description may not necessarily reflect the examination itself. What type of exam is it? Is it oral, short text, or essay? Is it with assistive devices or without? By having the information, you can study effectively towards the frame of the exam.

Plan

The next step is to make a studying plan. Make a list of what material and which topics you should cover and break it down into tasks. Then plan how long each task should take.  Look through your notes, handouts, and PowerPoints. It will help you see what your professor thinks is important, and it will boost your memory.

(Credit: Luis Villasmil)

(Credit: Luis Villasmil)

Find your peak hours! 

When in the day do you perform your best? Here's when you should plan your studying time. 

Mix it up! 

Study in more than one way. Find a study buddy and explain the material to each other - in that way, you will get a better understanding of your material. Draw and explain, listen to, and test each other - the more learning styles you engage, the better! Watch a documentary on the topic, make flashcards, use color-coding to highlight or write down information, and separate the topics with different colors. 

Take breaks!

Your brain can only focus efficiently for about 90 minutes before needing at least a 15 minutes break. Move your body, dance, do yoga, take a walk, go to the gym. Whatever. Just remember to move your body. Many studies show that exercise helps the brain function. It's true. 

(Credit: Oksana Taran)

(Credit: Oksana Taran)

Improve your focus

Remember to schedule time for cat videos! Or other fun stuff. Studies show that an excellent way to boost your concentration is to have a good laugh. Another way to increase your focus is to drink a caffeinated drink. Research shows that caffeine improves memory, reaction time, and attention in the short term, especially right after exercise! However, be smart with the caffeine because it only works in shorter periods since your brain's tolerance increases with time.

Be prepared 

Find out what you can bring to the exam, so you do not forget something essential at home. Having a home exam? Remember all the above: prepare, plan to call a friend if you are stuck, have everything you need by hand. 

To sum it up, planning is everything. Find what works for you, and remember to take breaks!