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11 Best Study Tips: The Dos and Don’ts of Exam Studying

Written by Rebecca Tunney

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

best study tips exams midterms

It’s midterm season, which means it’s time to brush up on those best study tips and tricks for acing your next exam. Because otherwise, just picture this…

The big midterm worth 30% of your grade is tomorrow. After hours of doing everything but studying, you’ve finally decided to settle down and get to work. But it’s late, you’re tired, and the piles of information you don’t remember learning are giving you a migraine. Panic begins to set in.

Not a pretty scenario, is it? That’s why this handy guide will help make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Thank us later, when you’re not drinking your third can of Red Bull at 3:32 AM.

Our Best Study Tips for Midterm Success

DO stay organized. Sorting notes by date, topic, or colour of ink will make finding specific information faster and more efficient. Studying is a lot less infuriating when you can find everything you’re looking for. Oh, and make a schedule if you have other events and activities to study around.

DON’T rely on recordings of your lectures. Recordings are fine for revisiting, but you should take notes and actually pay attention as things are being taught. The more senses you use, the better you’ll remember the information when it’s first given to you. Bonus: talk to your classmates about swapping notes after classes. This increases the chances of getting all the important info and gives you a chance to meet people.

DO keep old tests and quizzes. Sometimes exams have questions from previous assessments, so it’s good to look them over while studying. See what you got wrong in the past, and which areas you need to focus more time on this time around.

DON’T start studying at the last minute. I know, a new true-crime documentary just came out on Netflix, but the longer you wait to start your review, the more stressed you’ll be later. At the very least, study a little bit every day so you’re not cramming the night before.

“If you chew gum while learning the information, then chew the same flavour again while applying it, there’s a better chance that you’ll recall it.”

DO take breaks. Don’t confuse this as an excuse to spend the next 2 hours reading fan fic or scrolling Insta. By break, I mean letting your mind think of something other than 100 pages of notes for 5-10 minutes. Go for a brisk walk, do a chore, read a chapter of your favourite bookany short activity. Remember, there’s a difference between procrastinating and taking a break.

DON’T study where you’ll be distracted. Hide the remote, lock yourself out of social media for a few hours, and put your phone on selective silence. Out of sight, out of mind. This rule also includes people; study groups are great and can work wonders, but only if you’re sure that you and your buddies won’t turn your notes into paper planes.

DO keep up with your readings. Taking your notes gradually throughout the year solidifies everything you learn, and makes for a great review.

DON’T forget to feed yourself. It’s hard to focus when your stomach is screaming for food. Stay hydrated and keep snacks on hand to keep you energized as you stuff information into your cranium.

DO chew gum while studying, then again when taking the test (if allowed). If you chew while learning the information, then chew the same flavour again while applying it, there’s a better chance that you’ll recall it. Your brain will associate the flavour with reading the information, helping you remember what a sphygmomanometer is. True story.

DON’T stay up all night. Resting your brain is crucial in retaining information long term. Studying instead of sleeping doesn’t always lead to remembering. Study as much as you can until a certain point, and then call it a night. You can always continue reviewing when you wake up.

DO know your resources. Does your school have tutoring available? Do your professors post their presentations online for students to review later? Remember, lectures and textbooks aren’t your only options.

Now go kick some assessments!

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