Top 10 study tips

By Bianca Chan

It’s sad to say…it’s that time of year again. Oh, you know, the time where students are stressed out because they’re overwhelmed with term papers, final projects and exams that are looming overhead. But not to worry – Carleton University OnLine has your back. We’ve collected 10 study tips to help you make it through. Remember, study smarter not harder!

Three weeks until your exam:

  1. Start thinking about it.

Let’s start things off nice and easy. Just start thinking about your exams; that means what material needs to be (re)learned to get the gist of what you need to know to ace that exam.

  1. Pay careful attention in the classes leading up to the exam.

Now is the time to really pay attention because professors tend to drop hints about what’s going to be on your finals. And if you don’t already…now is a good time to take detailed notes and carefully do the readings.

Two weeks until your exam:

  1. Review your resources.

Go over all the tools that will help prepare you for the exam. That includes the class objectives for the term and what you can expect to be on the final (usually found on the syllabus) and any other study guides (normally on cuLearn). This is the time to fill in the gaps in your notes with the help of a classmate or study group.

  1. Divide and conquer.

Set aside about an hour or two each day leading up to your exam. Dividing it up into manageable chunks is a lot less stressful than combining hours of studying the day before.

  1. Eat, sleep, relax.

Don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep (eight to 10 hours per night) and to fuel your body with healthy, complex, whole foods. I know it’s tempting to pick up some fast food after a long day at the library, but it is important to take care of your mind and body during exam period. And I’m sure I don’t need to tell you twice that relaxing and having fun is an important part of exam prep. Don’t let an exam disrupt the rhythm of your life.

  1. Figure out what kind of studying works for you.

And stick to it! Whether you need silence and a clean desk, or you like classical music outside, or studying with friends, find your style and do it.

One week until your exam:

  1. Get help.

If you’re getting stuck on a concept now is high time you get some help, whether it’s from your professor, teaching assistant or other classmates on a forum. You’re most likely not the only one having troubles and professors and TAs usually expect students to reach out during this time.

The night before:

  1. Boost your confidence.

By now, you know this stuff (if you’ve been following this guide, at least). Resist cramming new material and go over the content you already know.

  1. Prepare your stationery.

One of the most stressful things that can happen during an exam is your pencil running out of lead or bringing the wrong coloured pen. Make sure you know what you need for your exam and bring extras.

The day of:

  1. Show up prepared.

Have a hearty breakfast and bring a (clear) bottle of water with you to the exam if it’s an in-person one. Then kick butt and ace it!

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