Exams are upon you and you are interested in finding out the best strategies to use so that you can capitalize on getting the “A” that you so desire. Stunting a one-off in getting a good grade does not always work. It is very crucial to be intentional in getting a superb grade.
Currently writing this blog I have finals in a week so writing this is also reiterating some of the things that I know and catching up on what I should be practicing.
Personally, I try my best to score an “A” in all coursework so that I can go into the exam feeling good. When I go into an exam I work twice as hard and leave nothing unanswered that is compulsory.
Below I have listed 10 tips that any college student can use to ensure that they do well in studying and going into the examination.
#1 Get the Study Guide
Many college lectures give their students a study guide that help them to focus on the topics that are likely to come on the examination. A study guide does not tell exactly what will be coming it is just a guide.
A teacher may have on the study guide what to expect for example; Essays, True and False questions, Multiple choice question, short answer questions or even matching questions.
Some teachers are pretty straight forward in making a precise study guide while others will let you waste your time studying things that are not even on the exam. If your teacher does not provide a study guide you can choose to make your own by using your text and notebook to look over topics that were covered by the teacher or presented by other students.
You can also as a class encourage the lecture to provide one. Sometimes lectures may highlight important points that you will need to be knowledgeable on for the finals.
Simply getting the study guide and not studying will not help. Depending on the nature of a class a study guide can have up to 40 content areas to cover so start studying early. A week before is not bad. My Example Study Guide
#2 Make Time to Study, no social media.
Forget about makeup and begging lecturers for extra grades. Make a schedule that you will be able to follow. Going out to parties, talking on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsAapp, watching movies and having loads of fun can be done the week after the exams are over.
You can make time for a selected few individuals like parents that you will talk to for 30 minutes out of your day so you capitalize on your study time.
Look at all the exams that will be done including date, time, and venue. Put up reminders so you do not miss them. Also, try to make a timetable or schedule that also includes your daily activities. Prioritizing is essential and will help any college student to cover the topics on a study guide before the exam.
Making time to study will prevent the all-nighters and hangovers of staying up to cram what is not known. Reduce anxiety on the exam day. Below I have given an example of a weekly outline considering that sometimes during exams students still have to get assignments done, go to work etc. Be knowledgeable of the time of day that you learn best and stick to it. I enjoy studying 3-6am
#3 Listen to Study Music
Studying with music can help a person to be more focused and concentrate. When I speak of music I am not referring to those that have lyrics but rather those that are instrumental in nature.
Lyrical music can be distracting and take away from the reading assignment that should be the focus. Music helps the brain to relax and become more receptive to the information that is trying to be learned.
This can help anyone to keep focus while studying and not to be easily distracted. Keeping it low in the background can put a person in the mood to study and improves memory.
There is music that will help with concentration, studying, relaxing, memory etc. Here are three that I most often listen to; BMC instrumental, Alpha Wave, and Classical Music. I actually never thought these worked until after doing my music class and trying it for myself.
#4 Get the Text book
One very important thing in getting through an exam successfully is to have a hold of the text. I usually never get my textbooks but use the internet to do the majority of my work. However, there come points when there are selected pages to do a particular assignment and I go to the library and use it there for a few hours.
Buying a book that I would only use for four months in my entire life is not worth it. A student could try renting a book for a week just to get the information needed.
If you never use the text you will need it for the finals. There may selected pages that you will need to read. Regardless of what other publications say about a particular topic the teacher may be looking for a specific answer that the class text states.
#5 Try A Study Group or Partner
If a person learns best on their own that is okay but for persons who may find it challenging to understand difficult concepts that were taught in a class can benefit from forming a study group or having someone to study with.
A study group is not only beneficial to topics that you are weak on but will benefit others who need help as well. Quiz each other and have fun learning.
Even though being a part of a study group, a student will still need to make time to revise on his or her own. Try not to make the group too large. 3-4 persons can do. When it is too large persons easily get carried away or distracted having their own conversations.
#6 Look over Assignments,Quizzes, and Sectionals
Often times questions that were given on quizzes and sectionals in class show up in the final paper. One sectional that was given in my class was actually the finals paper and no one knew until they got it in the examination.
Questions, especially in the multiple choice, true and false and matching usually resurface. This may not always be the case but revising these papers can be very useful.
Re-read all assignments that were given. Speaking on the matter of assignments you may have tons of assignments still outstanding!!!
#7 Have a Healthy Meal
A healthy meal will boost brain functioning. When doing an exam on an empty stomach it can be hard to concentrate. The brain, as well as the body need the proper nutrition to function at optimum level.
Doing an exam requires mental energy and so eat brain foods such as whole grain, nuts, yogurt, fruits, shakes etc. The aim is for the brain to be alert. There are many quick and easy meal ideas or snacks for on the go that can give adequate nutrition for those long hours of examination.
Drink plenty water and you can take multivitamins. Try to eat sugar-free foods that may make you feel fatigue. Essential vitamins can hep you to perform well. Junk food and energizer drinks like red bull or coffee may help you to stay up but will not aid in bringing to memory that which have been studied.
#8 Get Enough Rest, No all-nighters
Sleeping in an exam is a waste of time. Time that should be spent writing essays should not be made for drooling on the exam paper. Cramming exhausts the brain. Being restful can help you to remember things.
Not getting enough rest can cause a person to not even hear the alarm when it is time to get up. Sleep deprivation is heard of among college students and those students lack concentration, memory and don’t usually perform the best on examinations.
Doing all nighters is doing more harm than good to the body especially the brain. Instead of cramming, what a student can do is try to learn concepts and practice those that require working out problems. Information that is crammed easily leaves the memory as soon as it enters. Link the content of study information to real life application as best as possible so that it will more easily be remembered.
Take a shower, select your clothes, pack your bag with exam tools that you will need such as pens, rulers etc. The night before exams should be a night of rest. Get the 7hrs rest and additional turn all lights off so that the rest is more peaceful.
Taking even 20 minutes of your morning to run, skip, jogg, walk or cycle can boost a student’s alertness. It is true when doctors say that our physical health does have an impact on our mental abilities. Muscles need to exercise and so meaningful stretching can reduce muscle tension.
Increased blood flow over the body especially to the brain. Exercising can also improve one’s mood or attitude toward taking an exam. It boosts confidence and adrenaline hormones can make a person have a positive approach.
Exercising will sharpen thinking and reduce anxiety and stress levels. Forget about feeling sweaty and tired when exercising. The shower is always there to wash up before heading out. It is better to have the positivemindset of a winner for exams than a loser attitude.
#10 Trust in the Author of Knowledge
College students who have a faith and or believes that there is a God who cares about the affairs of man and is able give good gifts can find confidence that if they do their part and put forth their best in doing all they can through studying he will help them to be successful.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” ( James 1:5) He is able to give knowledge and to bring to memory what someone have been studied.
“Ask and it will be given you; seek and ye shall find, knock and the door will be open unto you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knock it will be open.” (Matthew 7:7,8)
Not studying and asking God to bring to memory information is presumptuous praying. God will reward those who make efforts to do their best. Look to Him who knows all things “Jehovah”.
If you have a class that does not require you to sit a final ensure that the portfolio, presentation or practical thing that you have to do is the best. There is no need to feel stress because there are many ways to manage stress as a college student.
Be open for surprises in the exam. Some teachers actually give what they did not teach or and so critical thinking will be needed. Try to answer all questions. You might be lucky to get even 12 marks out of 20 marks on a question you had no clue but still attempted.
I sure do hope that you get the chance to use some of these methods to increases the potential of getting an “A”. As one of my lectures always say a person does not just get a grade but they work for it. Finals is just a percentage of the overall class grade so failing college class work will not secure an “A”.
One more tip….dont’ mess things up by cheating or not following exam rules to get you kicked out.