How To Study Effectively For Exams


Make a study plan. 

Gather every material you have, sort it and make a schedule for yourself when and how much to study each session. During exam preparation, I study 8 Pomodrone sessions that are each 30 minutes long (short and long pauses excluded) per day and plan what exactly in which session I'll take on.

Pick your study environment. 

For some it's a local coffee shop with mellow background noise, for others it's the dead quiet library or the kitchen table or the desk area. Try studying in different places if you don't know what works best. If you're a morning bird and concentrate better in the morning, try to maximize your morning study time. Try not to spend all day in the same room.

Start early. 

I know, I know, this is not what you want to hear but I swear, I cannot stress about this one enough. You will thank yourself later. Sometimes I study best under pressure but honestly, I hate being stressed out because it makes me anxious for days and feeling really uncomfortable. So do yourself a favour and start early. Even if it's just some reading or retaking notes and making them pretty for you to study through.

Gather outside information. 

There are some subjects that are just super theoretical and no fun to study. Try gathering information from examples, from the Internet, etc. So you can read about the subject another way and learn about it from different perspectives, maybe even with the help of some practical examples. Maybe join study groups as well as the extra knowledge from others could help you tremendously, too.

Type/Write it all away. 

Everything. Type sentences and combine your knowledge, put it all together in sentences that you understand and can explain. This will help you know how to answer some questions without needing much time to actually put together sentences in your head when in an exam.

Ask yourself which questions your professor could ask. 

Of course this one is quite tricky. But if you know what your professor finds is most important about a topic, it helps to dive into it some more. Read more about the examples they mentioned, etc.

Don't compare yourself. 

Don't let others stress you about studying. There are people who study much more often and constantly. They'll stress about it and they'll make you feel like you're not doing enough. Keep in mind everyone studies differently and it's not just about getting A's but about actually understanding the subject.

Find your methods. 

Create outlines, draw mind maps, use flashcards, record yourself, rewrite your notes and take exams. Find the method that works for you. For me it's rewriting notes, highlighting and reading out loud to myself as if I'm giving a presentation. Oh, and sticky notes while reading chapters for notes on what's still unclear. I tend to research about those only after reading the whole chapters.

Remember to take breaks. 

Don't overwork yourself, get fresh air, get snacks, drink enough water, stretch.

Don't study the night before the exam. 

This will hinder your performance because if you study all night, your brain won't be able to tighten knowledge.

What is your advice on studying? Good luck to everyone who's going through exams right now!

Until then – stay productive,

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