For some people college is synonymous with the all-nighter. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Cramming is a choice, and most often, not a helpful choice when it comes to studying for an exam. Here are five tips that will help you avoid cramming and still be prepared for your college exams.
Reading over your notes everyday only takes a few minutes. It will remind you of what was discussed in lecture and reinforce the material you learned. If you find anything confusing, it gives you time to go to a professor’s office hours and ask questions. A quick review everyday will keep you from having to waste time relearning information later in the semester.
Set a time once a week to get together with a study group. This is a great way to meet more people, and hold yourself accountable to a weekly review. You can help each other by clarifying tough points and talking through challenging material.
You may have small amounts of down time between classes. Pop into the library and look over notes and do some reading. Every few minutes spent on studying when you have time can save you mountains of time later. Put away your phone and pick up a book instead.
One of the toughest transitions for incoming freshmen is that there is little to no accountability to keep up with your work. One or two exams can make up your entire grade, rather than a cumulative score on homework. It can be tempting to put off reading assignments, because no one is checking to make sure you did it. However, if you read the assigned material, you will be better equipped to understand the lecture. You also won’t be stuck staying up all night trying to finish the reading before the exam.
If you have kept up with your work, reviewed daily, and met with study partners you should be ready for the exam. All you will need is a quick review. Look over your materials and then get a good night of rest. Sleeping well will help you stay focused, recall material and perform better on the exam.
You can alleviate stress and anxiety by staying prepared for exams throughout the semester. Cramming all night before an exam will only leave you feeling exhausted. When you start out the semester right, with the end goal in mind, you won’t have to cram.