Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Now is the time to prep for your exams. Yes. Really.

An exam blog post in January? Am I crazy? Maybe a little, but crazy works really well in college.

Most students don't think about exams until the last few weeks of the semester. This is a bad idea

The best students start thinking about exams in the beginning of the semester. These students get plenty of sleep towards the end of the semester, never pull all-nighters, never have to say no to hanging out with their friends because they have to study, and get A's on their tests.

This can be you.

Here are a few tips to help you prepare for exams now so that, come the end of the semester, you'll get amazing grades and maintain your sanity: 

1) Go to class
I know this seems obvious, but I'm constantly amazed how many students skip class. Never, ever skip class unless you are incredibly ill. Getting one day behind will set you back immensely when it comes to being on top of the material for your future exams. 

2) Takes notes with exam questions in mind
During class, pay attention to the points in the lecture where the professor seems particularly passionate or dwells longer than usual. Take notes during class in a way that makes it easy to look back on throughout the semester, especially come exam time. I'm a fan of the Cornell Notes method

3) Review your notes every other day
Get to each class at least five minutes early, and use that time to quickly read the notes you wrote for that class during the last session. 

4) Visit the professor
Have you visited your professors during their office hours yet? Now is the time to go! Ask for help as soon as you find you're not grasping a concept 100%, or if you feel like you're doing great, ask for clarification on a project to ensure you're heading in the right direction. 

5) Talk about the class with friends
Discuss homework or other projects with your classmates. This is a great way to make new friends, as well as delve the subject deeper into your brain. 

It's never too early to start preparing for your exams. When you spread out the work over the entire semester, you'll find yourself at the end of it calmly walking through the halls towards your exams, wondering why everyone else seems so harried. 

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