Hack your exam prep: Three tips for success

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Brandi Holowecky
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Of all the tips I’ve learned to use when studying for finals, this one always allows me to succeed: focusing on one class at a time. By zeroing in on one subject for each study session, you can better comprehend the information that is presented. Your approach for a specific class may differ based on the course, your level of confidence in the course, or your study methods. Here are three tips I use to get the most out of each study session.

Repetition Reaps Rewards

For math classes, I found that it is essential that you review multiple times throughout the semester – especially in upper-level math courses. I have found success in my business calculus class by repeatedly reviewing each test throughout the semester. While doing this over time, studying for finals won’t be as much of a burden and you will be much more prepared.

Prioritize Weaker Areas

I also prioritize my classes and study accordingly. If I have a high A in one class, I budget a little more time on a course where I may have a lower grade. Prioritizing is also a skill you can take on with you in your future career. Many students don’t realize all the strategies we learn and utilize in college are skills that will impress a future employer!

Your Method Matters

I personally find it most efficient to make flashcards. I use applications like Quizlet or PearsonPrep to make flashcard sets for each class instead of writing them all out. Flashcards may not suffice if you need to learn concepts of subjects rather than solely definitions. To study concepts, I review, study, and then set aside any questions I answered incorrectly. By doing this, you can study the difficult material more often and master the concepts. In fact, PearsonPrep application will prioritize the topics for you based on your successful (or unsuccessful) attempts at certain concepts. Additionally, PearsonPrep allows you to upload your class notes and it automatically turns them into flashcards!

Focusing on one class at a time, using repetition, prioritizing courses, and finding your niche study method have all contributed to my success in college. I hope you use these strategies and that they work for you as well! Also take time for yourself during finals. I enjoy getting a good workout in during stressful times. Working out releases endorphins and results in a positive mood. Finals are one of the most stressful aspects of college, but with these tips I’m sure you will rock them! Good luck on your finals!



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