It’s that time of the month.
Exam season is here, and every college student (a few highschoolers, too) right now is trembling in a corner, crying, or feeling an extreme wave of de-motivation. If you’re like me, you’re probably feeling a bit of both.
If you’re in the 10% (not a real statistic) that formulate study plans, study your *ss off, and continue to strive under the pressure, then kudos to you! If you’re not, I’m going to share with you some of the most helpful tips that have gotten me to pass exams. I just wish I knew these things during my first year of college.
UTILIZE A PLANNER AND MAKE A STUDY PLAN.
This is too important, and a lot of people always overlook this. Your study plan does not have to be taxing, and you don’t have to spend your every waking moment studying. For example, a study plan may look a little something like this:
Monday: Biology (C3 & C4 Plants, Photosynthesis, Nitrogen Cycle) – 2hrs; Calculus (Unit Circle practice, advanced logarithms) – 2hrs; Japanese – (mashou/mashouka, past tense conjugation of adjectives) – 1hr
Then the rest of the days follow. This is especially easier when classes are over, and you have those few days to study before the final exam. Finding out what topics to study brings me to my next tip:
PRACTICE WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW FIRST, THEN MOVE UP.
It’s okay if you don’t know.
Be honest with yourself. A good way to find out what your weak points are is to take a practice sheet (there are SO many available online), fill it out, then grade yourself afterwards (be an honest grader!). The places you did the worst on are the ones where you need the most work. Once you work up from those areas, the rest of the areas become easier. This is a surefire way to turn what used to be 60% into 75%, and turn that into 85%, and so on.
Try out going to someone who is hella proficient in that area- whether that be a tutor, a friend, or Khan Academy- and ask them to walk you through some things. It’s beneficial for them, too!
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, AND TREAT YOURSELF!
The reason we get overwhelmed during this time is because the grind never ends.
It’s especially important to remember that breaks are okay. Being tired is okay. Chilling is okay. We all do it, and it’s crucial to do it during times of high stress.
What I do is integrate breaks between my study sessions. For example, if I’ve been studying for an hour and thirty minutes, I may take a 20 minute break.
I also reward myself for jobs well done. For example, I may have studied hard for three days! It takes a LOT of dedication and persistence to maintain an efficient schedule, so I always make sure I’m rewarding myself for that. Whether that be getting some fried tofu and fried rice (Mmm, yum!), some chocolate chip cookies, or just playing Fallout for the rest of the night- I make sure that my diligence is recognized.
Doing things like this takes off SO MUCH STRESS from your shoulders, all while making sure you know your academics.
I think that’s all I’ve got for exam tips this season! I’m still learning, just like you are! If you’ve got any tips for me, or any comments about anything I’ve said, I’m definitely open to speaking about them! Feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments section, and we can definitely turn this into a list of surefire positive tips.