We’ve all felt study sweats in the days leading up to exams. Graduating the day before an important paper can make you tired, exhausted and overwhelmed. It goes without saying that revising ahead of time is essential for your confidence in learning, your mental health and your general well-being, but is there anything else you can do to succeed in your studies? In short – yes. These 10 preparation tips will help you anticipate at all stages of your training. So whether you’re about to start a bachelor’s or master’s degree, take note of the tips below and give yourself the best start to your study experience.
1. Get to know your campus
It may seem simple, but getting to know your campus beyond your student union, commons, and center of activity will put you in a good position as exam season approaches. Where are the study rooms and when are they busy or quiet? Where is the library located and what are its opening hours? What equipment is available to lend that could help your learning?
2. Show up to class
As tempting as it is to ditch your lectures in favor of sleeping in, in-person learning can keep you motivated throughout your journey through higher education. Some universities will make attendance compulsory and some will not, you will likely become more disciplined and interested in your chosen subject if you show up in the first place.
3. Get to know your speaker
Your lecturers and professors know their stuff. Moreover, they understand what it is to be a student after having been one themselves. Ask them questions, listen to what they have to say, and show them that you are eager to learn from them during college hours.
4. Do your homework
Whether you’ve been assigned a reading assignment, a research assignment, or a written assignment, take the time to do it — and do it well. Every minute you spend understanding your thesis will pay off in the long run by also strengthening your memory and understanding.
5. Take all the notes
Even if you think something seems insignificant, jot it down and decide on its relevance when you review your notes later. The way your speaker or professor comments on a topic can be just as remarkable as the topic itself.
6. Same day summary
Plus… read your lecture notes the same day you write them while the memory of your lesson is still fresh in your mind. Summarize your learnings in small bullet points to make it easier to study in the future.
7. Read your textbooks
You’ve splashed the cash on a pile of heavy textbooks – don’t let them sit in your room gathering dust. Read them, trust them, and make the most of them: they just might have the answer you need or provide the inspiration you’ve been looking for at just the right time.
8. Understand your learning style
Are you a visual learner who benefits from mind maps and graphs; an auditory learner who needs to hear information in order to retain it; a kinesthetic learner who thrives on participating in activities to better understand a subject; or a solitary learner who is happiest studying alone? Once you know how you work best, find an editing style that suits your needs and give it your all.
9. Keep a diary
A visual planner or calendar is about to become your new best friend. Add your schedule to a poster grid in your room so you can see when your classes are due and when your exams are looming. This should help you start the review on time.
10. Learn to say no
Missing out on a party with friends isn’t easy, but trying to study while only sleeping for a few hours with a headache isn’t productive either. Why not plan a celebratory evening at the end of your exams and enjoy a guilt-free reunion with your loved ones at a later date.
You can find more awesome study hacks in our free ebook 101 Study Tips for Exam Success, which will be available to read from May 2022.