Successful studying varies by individual; what works for some fails to help others. As much as I would love to share a list of sure fire, tried and true study tips that helped me in college there is no guarantee that they will work for everyone.
The study methods I used varied by semester and most definitely varied by class so the best way to learn what works for you is truly devote your time to you studies and try a few different methods and tactics!
Although these same approaches may not work for you I am going to share a few methods that I used to help prepare for final exams and papers.
- Start early: No procrastinating here folks! You don’t have to jump right in but start preparing early even if it is with a few small steps like organizing your notes or making a timeline/to-do list of tasks and assignments.
- Reward yourself: Studying can ware you down and if you go too long without taking a break. When spending a significant amount of time studying and writing is important to give your mind a break with some mindless activity. I like to reward myself with a Netflix break or a power nap. (Tip: Netflix is great but watching something heavy and deep can be counter productive. Pick something light and cheery.)
- Mix it up: I found that focusing on one subject or assignment for too long wasn’t productive for me. When you feel like you are getting no where that is a good sign to either take a break or switch to a new subject.
- Spread it out: Cramming should not be your plan. Like I mentioned above, START EARLY and make sure to spread your studying out over several days to give each subject and assignment adequate time.
- Find a balance: There were several times when I tried being a hermit during intense exam periods and it just didn’t work for me. Going to long without interacting with friends or getting out for some fresh air can be counter productive. Studying should be your first priority but try to find a balance to interact with friends or roommates (in moderation of course).
- Stay healthy: Eating right, exercising, and getting sleep are SO important! It may not seem like you have time for all of these things when you have so much to study but trust me, you do! Even if it means walking on a treadmill at the campus gym while you review some notes or sneaking in a short workout during one of your breaks, get moving! As for eating right, make sure you are heading to the dining hall or taking time to meal prep in your room (Tip: If you don’t have a dining plan got go to the grocery store before finals week and do your meal prep in advance). Exercising and eating right will help you stay focused and getting enough sleep will help you power through.
Stay positive and good luck!