Need Some Tips On Preparing For Tests?

Are your study skills atrocious? Do you procrastinate until the night before the test? Do you cram five minutes before an exam and end up crying in a puddle of notecards and abandoned dreams for a successful future? Then you’ve come to the right place, you hot mess! Here’s a few tips on how to successfully study for your midterms!

First of all, try to start studying at least a week early and revive your old study materials! This way, you won’t end up cramming too much material in too little time. Try not to cram the night before. Please. It only ends in tears. Dust off those old annotations, study guides, flashcards, notes, etc, because they are going to come in handy! If you do not have any of these items premade (or you wrote Beyoncé lyrics in the margins of Siddhartha instead of actually annotating), start making them to study for your exam. Rewriting previously learned information will help you recall it and be a form of studying in itself.

Next, identify where your weaknesses were this past semester. If you are absolutely confident you know the information for a certain unit/topic, you shouldn’t spend an all-nighter going over it. Instead, pinpoint your weaknesses in that subject and focus more on those than the topics you already thoroughly understand.

Create a realistic study schedule! It’s not about how long you study; it truly comes down to how efficiently you study. Work smarter, not harder. With that said, don’t just look at your book for five seconds and expect to have memorized the entirety of The Catcher in the Rye. I would recommend at least 30 minutes of study time each day.

Be cautious when studying with friends! During my freshman year, I very memorably went to the library with a group of my friends attempting to study for math. Instead, someone’s shoe flew out the window, my copy of Twelfth Night got drenched in powerade, and we ended up playing pokemon for three hours. Do. Not. Do that. It does not matter how much you love your friends, if you know you will just goof off and end up getting half your eyebrow shaved off, then it’s best for everyone if you study with different people. Try not to study in groups bigger than four. And don’t invite that one dude into your study group. You know who I’m talking about.

Another tip: ask someone in your study group to quiz you about a topic. This will allow you to see where your strengths lie and what sections you need to re-visit. Plus if you’re working through actual potential quiz questions, you’ll be better prepared for the type of questions you’ll encounter on the exam.

Make sure you take care of yourself while studying! Take study breaks. Check your phone, go for a walk, play, stretch, etc. Seriously, if you try studying for four hours without a pee break you’re not only gonna get a kidney stone and have to sit out of Hockey for the rest of the season, you’re also not going to retain any information.

Study snacks are important! Have a nice supply of healthy snacks and maybe a few of your favorites at your side at all times during your Physics studying. Stay hydrated! Also, I suggest you wear comfy clothes. Don’t study in your Reserve Green! Wear pajamas, comfy t-shirts, sweat pants or whatever you feel best in. I wouldn’t recommend going full commando in public, but if you’re alone in your dorm, do what you have to do.

We all know how stressful exam season is. Take a deep breath and crawl out from under the bed and cancel your plan to leave the country and become a Russian hitman. I promise that you will be fine. Yes, the future is terrifying to think about, and every time exams roll around we are forced to face our imminent adulthood yet again. As long as you believe in yourself, you can succeed!

-Harley Fisher ’19

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