Exam Study Shortcuts for College Students

During midterm and finals weeks, one of the biggest problems student face is that there never seems to be enough time to study everything. With multiple exams happening all at once, it’s useful for a student to have a few time saving strategies.

Review Class Lecture Notes Throughout the Semester

Students can save time preparing for exams by reading through their class notes on a regular basis throughout the semester. As a rule of thumb, it’s helpful to reread notes about once a week. Some students also find it helpful to copy their notes, either by hand or on a computer. These simple steps help students keep the material fresh in their minds, which can save quite a bit of time when it comes to studying.

Keep Up With the Reading Load

For many students, one of the biggest time drains during exam time comes from cramming in readings at the last minute. Not only is this time consuming, but this is also is a very ineffective way to do the readings because there’s not enough time to process the information. By keeping up with the reading load, students will have more time to actually review the readings.

Exam Time Management

When faced with a daunting pile of readings and notes, the best approach is not to start reviewing materials randomly and take as much time as necessary. Not only is this time consuming, but it also makes it likely that something important will be omitted in the study process.

Instead, students can save time and study more effectively by creating a time management study plan prior to reviewing the material itself. Students should identify exactly what needs to be studied and how long it will take to study each portion of the material. Then the student can draw up a study schedule, with some extra time built in as padding.

Exam Prioritization

Another time saving tip is to figure out what material is most important, and to prioritize this material by studying it first and in-depth. This can be difficult to do, but by staying on top of the readings and taking good notes, students can get a feel for the main points. Some students find it helpful to start with a blank piece of paper and computer screen and ask themselves, “What are the main points that the instructor really wants us to know?quot; These should be prioritized.

Of course, a word of caution: never ask an instructor directly, “What’s going to be on the test?” Fair question or not, this kind of question may label the student as lazy. A better approach is to ask the instructor if there are materials and points that he or she feels are especially important.

Take Advantage of Review Sessions and Study Guides

When instructors are willing to help out, students should take advantage of this. Review sessions and study sheets allow students to get a head start on their studying and help them prioritize the important study points. It’s important to remember, though, that these study tools should not be the only thing a student uses to prepare for an exam. This will certainly save time, but it’s also a steady path to a low grade. Review sessions and study guides should be used as study tools, not crutches.

Save Time by Studying Smart

By putting in some time to prepare before the actual studying begins, students can cut their study time down without risking a lower grade. By reviewing notes and keeping up with the reading load throughout the semester, students can cut hours from the study process. When students take the time to manage their time, prioritize the material, and take advantage of study sheets and review sessions, effective studying can be accomplished in less time.

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