A Minute with Anna: How to Prepare for Exams

Jan. 30, 2019 by Anna Micheletti

How to Prepare for Exams

We all know how grueling studying for an upcoming exam can be. As a college student, you will never forget the long, never-ending hours filled with an infinite amount of caffeine and teary-eyes from pure exhaustion.

However, with some helpful tips and tricks, it is possible to prepare adequately for an exam and perform well.

Notes, Notes, Notes!

the-officeIt is important in all classes to take diligent notes.

Although it may be tempting to decorate the crisp, fresh paper with what you may consider are “da Vinci” creations, it is crucial to stay on task and write useful facts and concepts within the lines.

When looking back through the pages, it will be helpful to review the facts you will need to study instead of glancing over at the cartoon reminder of how you wasted your time.

Communicate with the all-knowing masters (also known as, your professors)

how exciting is thatBy talking and building a personal relationship with the ones who bestow your final grade, you are setting yourself up for success from the start.

Staying after class to ask questions and clarify the content lets the professor know that you are interested in doing well in his/her class and that you care about your academic success.

By having no communication or relationship with the higher-ups, this leads them to believe that you are another apathetic student, probably online shopping on your computer in the back of the room instead of taking those diligent notes we talked about earlier.

Get to know your professors! They don’t bite!

Set aside time to focus and study one subject

focusThose who take the time to plan out a schedule of when they will sit down and study are those who will have the most success in preparing for an upcoming test.

Although it may seem doable and adventurous at times to bombard yourself with the loads of work that have to get done, no number of espresso shots will keep you from feeling like you can take on the world for too long (you will eventually crash and burn).

Be sure to plan out your study/homework schedule accordingly so that you have a designated slot to focus on one subject at time, space out your caffeine intake and eventually have a major breakdown.

However, this time you will be able to get over it quickly in order to start the study cycle all over again.

Implement a study group

study groupGetting together with a group of others who are in the same boat as you can help some to study.

By getting students to brainstorm together, it can make it easier to study to the full extent by hearing everyone’s opinion and solutions to study questions.

Long gone are the days where you find yourself sitting alone in your room, pondering these questions aloud only to find yourself and later on wondering: What voice do turtles think in? Why are blueberries not called greenberries? What if inanimate objects secretly have feelings? What if dogs could talk (would they agree they are good boys?), etc. The list is never ending.

Study friends will be there to get your mind back on track and help you to focus on the real issues at hand. Form a reliable group and see how it goes from there.

The "day of" matters

winnie the pooh sleepWhile the previous four tips focus on studying before the day of the exam, this last tip is just as important - even if it focuses on the day of. It is important that on the day of the exam, you have had a restful sleep.

It is crucial to wake up feeling fully restored from the backbreaking work of studying that was done in the days before. After waking up, you need to start off with a good, refreshing breakfast. No, that does not mean a Monster Energy Drink with a handful of delicious Thin Mints from the Girl Scout waiting at every corner you seem to pass by.

A good breakfast might include some fruit, oatmeal, cereal, toast, eggs, etc. Protein has been proven to show that it can help your brain to “wake up” or be more active in the earlier hours of the day. After eating a nourishing breakfast, another step for preparing on the day of is to make sure that you have all necessary supplies packed in your backpack.

If you are taking a math exam, make sure to bring your calculator. If notes are allowed, make sure those are packed as well. If you seem to have a runny nose from the swarming cedar pollen flying around, bring a pack of Kleenex so people don’t mistake you for a leaky faucet in human form.

With a good night’s sleep, an energizing breakfast and a properly supplied backpack, you’ll know you’re prepared on exam day.

Final Thoughts

While preparing for an exam might be stressful at times, we hope these five tips will help on your journey to success.

Please visit the Success Center for more helpful tricks. Here’s to a successful second semester at CTX!


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