The hope blog

Final Exam Study Tips

Alyssa Lorenz | December 14th 2021 | 5 min read

With final exam season starting, having effective study methods is important. Here are five simple tips to help you thrive this exam season!


Use the Pomodoro Method 

The Pomodoro Method is a study technique where you set a timer to focus on studying for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break… 25 minutes of studying, 5 minute break, repeat! After an hour of this pattern, reward yourself with a longer break (15-30 minutes).

This method of studying has been shown to increase focus while simultaneously reducing the risk of mental fatigue. Breaking up your study session into 30 minute intervals (25 minutes of studying, 5 minutes of relaxing) can also help you to better avoid distractions and reduces your risk of becoming overwhelmed. 

Plan out your Study Sessions

When you go into a study session make sure you know in advance what you need to get done. Make yourself a to-do list and estimate how long each of the tasks on your list will take you. Structuring the work that you need to do into a list of achievable goals can increase the chance that you will get everything done well and in time!

It’s also important to make sure that you are prioritizing the tasks that are most important, and to make sure that you are allocating enough time to each of your subjects. If you have one subject that’s a lot more challenging for you or an exam that’s worth a lot more than your other classes, prioritizing those classes and making sure that you’re studying extra for them can help to ensure that you understand everything you need to in order to be successful (and may also help you to feel less stressed)!

Study with your Classmates 

There are many benefits to studying with other people! If you are struggling with a topic in one of your classes, studying with a classmate who can help you out can be a lot more efficient that trying to work it out on your own. Studying with your classmates can also allow you to see topics from other points of view. This may help to deepen and strengthen your understanding of a topic!

Provided that the group you are studying with is focused and not overly distracting, studying around other people can also help you to remain more concentrated on your work. If everyone around you is studying hard and focused on what they need to get done, that will likely help to motivated you to focus on studying as well! 

Quiz Yourself 

Self-quizzing is often regarded as one of the best study methods for remembering information. It increases the chance of long-term knowledge retention and is a great way for you to understand what you know and what you don’t. When you quiz yourself, your brain needs to actively retrieve the information that you are trying to remember. Retrieving memories helps them to become stronger. When you are just re-reading your notes of highlighting key ideas, the likelihood that you are actually retrieving a memory is a lot lower and thus, these memories become less imprinted in your brain.
A good way to quiz yourself is with flash cards or practice exams that you write yourself. Try to create questions for the key ideas that you need to know and make sure that you can answer them well before going into your exam. If you can answer challenging questions that you are quizzing yourself, chances are you’ll be well prepared to answer them on the exam too!

Get Enough Sleep 

Finally, getting enough sleep is important when you are doing lots of studying. It can be tempting to sacrifice sleep to get a few extra hours of studying in but giving your brain a break has a lot of benefits! Research has found that sleep is very important for learning and memory. Being sleep deprived can reduce your focus, impair your memory and make it more difficult to learn new information.
There are many important neurological processes that occur when you are sleeping including memory consolidation. Not giving your brain a break to properly store your memories can negatively impact how well you remember the information that you are learning. So, if you want to study well during the day, make sure you are sleeping well at night! 

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