Mike’s Top 3 Tips for Acing Exams

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By BookRenter Mike

In sports, it’s called the stretch run. That time of the year when the season is winding down, and the end is in sight. Yet even though the end is near, there is much work to be done to make the playoffs, win a championship, and say it’s been a successful year. As I endure the cold, harsh days of winter in Virginia, I have come to understand that as a student this is my stretch run. For me exams are not right around the corner, they are here. I’ve been to all my classes, I’ve gone to as many office hours as I can, and therefore the time for cramming is now! Hence, here are my top 3 tips for acing exams and feeling good during finals week.

by brianc

1. Make an Exam Schedule with the date and time of all of your exams/papers

This seems so easy to do in your head, but few people actually write down their exam times on a calendar or a piece of paper. It’s one thing to know when your exams will take place, but mapping out your schedule will improve your time management and help you find out when you should be resting versus studying. Highlight your hardest anticipated exam in order to make sure you have ample time to study because you don’t want to be caught flatfooted studying for two exams in one night when you’ve been resting the previous couple of days.

2. Break down a difficult exam into themes and important overarching topics

If by no fault of your own you find yourself stuck with only one night to study for an exam, I guarantee that you can still do very well on the exam. Often times, students will get overwhelmed if the subject matter seems complicated or if there is a lot of study material. Breaking down the subject matter into themes will help you understand the course better and help you hone in on what you do and don’t understand. Some professors may give you a study guide to help you identify these themes, but more often than not you’re on your own. Don’t worry though; important themes become clearer and clearer the more you immerse yourself in the subject matter.

3.     Rely on friends and classmates to motivate and push you to succeed

During finals week, students have a tendency to hole up and lock out the outside world until all of their finals are over. This is a terrible idea for many reasons, the #1 being that the absolute worst thing to do during finals is to change up your established routine. Final exams may count for more, but at the end of the day they are still just tests. Study in groups or pairs because often times teaching others or learning from peers will boost your understanding of the subject material. Plus, everyone tends to stress out during finals week and it always helps to have somebody nearby to keep you focused and on task. They may even have better notes than you!

They call it the stretch run because players and coaches have to stretch themselves to the limit in order to succeed. So get ready, it’s the educational stretch run, and it’s time to really push yourself. Have any good tips or advice on crushing exams? Feel free to share in the comments section below!

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