All the #CUStudyTip advice
During the month of December we ran a #CUStudyTips contest on Facebook where students submitted their tips for getting through the exam period. Well, here they are.
It’s important not to stress out too much over exams. Eat well and do not skip meals. Study hard but do not get yourself super panicked.Try to not cram the night before, sleep is important and a good night’s sleep does a lot more than one would think. Remember to keep a positive attitude during exam time. If you attended the classes, listened and took good notes in the lecture, then you are on the right track to passing the exam. Good luck to all on exams!
Take a break and head over to the fitness centre! Run, walk, bike, row, lift… do one or do it all but make sure you do it anyway to get some blood flow.
Go back through your lecture notes and try problems that were presented in class. Also, take frequent breaks, and get to bed at a good time. You will not retain anything by staying up until 3am.
Make questions that you think will be asked on your finals and then answer them. Make connections between classes if you can. Rote memorization and understanding are different, if you can use what you know then you might even remember it after exams!
Do not forget to drink lots of water.
Delete the Facebook app off your phone till exams are done. You can always redownload it later. Put your phone on airplane mode while you study so texts/phone calls and notifications won’t disturb you. Sit down for 30 minute intervals followed by a 5 minute break. Reward yourself with a treat or an activity you enjoy after a successful study session. Manage your time well, make a study schedule for all your subjects and how much time your going to spend on each every week.
I find rewriting notes and summarizing all that you’ve learned to compile it all together helps to connect the content and understand everything better, so you go into the exam understanding what you are going to be writing about especially if your exam has essays.
Study without music!! Instead, focus on studying instead of multi-tasking when listening to music. I also turn off all my phone notifications (snapchat, facebook, sport apps,twitter, instagram). Write your answers on a white blank sheet of paper instead of line papers to clearly see what you are writing without getting distracted by the lines on the line paper, while also simulating the blank white paper you will be writing on the exam!
Make cheat sheets, even if you aren’t allowed to bring a cheat sheet to the exam! This forces you to write down only the most critical information. Just by writing it down, you will have to think about what’s really important, and you’ll remember it more clearly. Before the exam, you can review this cheat sheet since it has only the most important information!
Rereading your notes might seem like an efficient way of studying. But you can convince yourself you know more than you really do with this technique. Rather, rewritting your study notes as a series of question and answers, so you can read the questions and mentally respond before checking the answer. This way you really know what you do and don’t know!
I like to make a really detailed review which helps get a foundation in my mind and then pretend to teach the notes to a friend!
Eating proper meals and not skipping any meals.
Sleep well, eat right and drink water. You retain more information when you are present then you do as a sleep deprived zombie.
I like to turn off the wifi on my laptop if I really need to focus. That way I don’t mysteriously end up on Facebook or reading emails instead of studying!
Set a timer for the amount of time you know you can focus. For me that’s 30 minutes. When your timer runs out reward yourself with something small you would do anyways like a washroom break, grabbing a snack, checking social media. The break should be half of your study time at most! And remember, the break is the only time you’re allowed to do something that isn’t studying!
I like going somewhere silent with water, a tea or a coffee (sometimes all three) and going over my old notes. Then I put them on cue cards and research more into them and make sure I completely comprehend what I am reading. Then I explain the cue cards over the phone to a friend. Saying the concept aloud, writing it and hearing a video and reading it hits all the key parts of you brain.
I find that listening to music with lyrics is distracting while I’m working. I like to listen to movie instrumental music while I study! This music was specially made for being in the background while the audience is focusing on something else (the plot). Pick the right movie and you can feel like you’re doing something epic. I recommend National Treasure or Jurassic Park. Songza (soon to be Google Play) has a great playlist for this!
When you’re doing your readings and going to class, make detailed notes from the text and lectures. When exams are approaching, going through your notes and copying key terms and ideas into a notebook forces you to review, re-write, and remember the material! If you’re given a study guide, answer all of the questions in the notebook too. Get together with classmates and quiz each other on all of the material, and take advantage of practice quizzes and mock exams. Takes time but it’s worth it!
The best study tip I have is to open a countdown timer in the bottom of your screen, set it to 30 minutes and try to only focus on studying for the whole half-hour. It is amazing how much you can get done in a small amount of time. Through practice, you will be able to focus for longer periods of time and develop a strong work habit.
By far the best thing that I can suggest is make a study plan! Even if you don’t stick to it 100% just seeing the break down of what you need to get done and the time you have helps so much! My favourite one is grab a timer and put 25 minutes on the clock (no more, no less) and really focusing for those 25 minutes. Afterwards you have a 5 minute break and you repeat! It’s totally doable and you’ll be surprised of how much you learned in that short period of time! Best of luck Ravens!
Start by going over notes or slides or whatever you have by yourself. Then try studying in a group so you can ask each other questions and bounce ideas off each other. You know you it when you can explain it to someone else. Also practice tests are key
For all of my classes, I made notes for each chapter detailing the title, section of the textbook, and the key learning goals/skills that were important for the material. You can use this as a study guide, as an indicator of where you have gaps in your knowledge, or you can add details to it. It forces you to read through all your notes and pick out key information, which also helps you prepare!
Find a place with no distractions, and put your away your phone. Study for an hour, then take a break (try going for a little walk outside) for 15 minutes. After learning all the material on your own, find a friend to test each other / briefly go over everything. If you run into difficulty studying, go to your professors office hours to get some help. Remember: pain is temporary but GPA is forever! Treat yourself after exams are over by going out to dinner or watching a movie with friends.
Before an exam, I make sure I have attended all class or obtained makeup notes, I read everything, and note the points that were emphasized, make up questions and answer on my own. Exchange practice questions with friends and repeat. I use the answer to my practice questions as my last review.
Manage your time and give yourself at least 2 or 3 days per exam to study. Write out all your notes ahead of time during the semester and then you’re set to study.
I find that it helps a lot to study somewhere other than my home. If I’m at home I get distracted, but if I go to the library with my textbooks and notes, I get so much done! Try to avoid using a computer if you can. Write everything down on paper. Also, don’t worry about your grades up until now. It doesn’t matter. Just do the best you can on the exam. Learn the material for the sake of learning new things. Exams are just a chance to show off all the interesting things that you’ve learned!
It’s way too easy to let yourself sleep all day and party all night during exam season. Even if you don’t party, you probably pull a few all nighters studying, don’t you? I force myself to get up at 7am every morning, even weekends, during exam season. I get myself all caffinated up, and once I am awake I study. I study until it feels like my brain is melting out my ears (only about 3hrs) and then I do whatever for the rest of the day, without feeling guilty, because my morning was productive!
It might be a bit late to do this but study from well before (even start learning stuff by yourself before it is taught in class). In university this is one of the reasons many people get by with little effort because they spread that effort consistently over a long period of time and know the material before hand. Don’t let yourself be the person in the “I don’t always study but when I do, I study an entire semester’s content in one day” meme.
Write your exam schedule in a calendar. Then, write what days & times you’re going to study for each course (ex. 9AM – 12PM – Stats, 12:30PM – 2:00PM: Chem.) Once you have allocated a number of hours per day for each of your courses, write what chapters/concepts you want to cover within that time. Most importantly, don’t forget to incorporate some breaks in here and there, and to give yourself enough time for sleep! Best of luck!!
I know it’s a bit late, for this kind of tip, but this always works out for myself. Try making SUMMARIES of ur own, from ur own notes or lecture, it is the best way to understand the topic, and this way it is not very easy to forget. Also try to TEACH(to ur friends) any concept/lesson, that u know, but it’s hard to remember and apply it. As people say, teaching is the best way to learn. Cheers
Neuroscience and psychology researchers (as well as myself) has found that changing location between chapters can drastically improve yoir ability to retain the information! It adds an additional cue for memory recall, so next test when your trying to remember that one definition, you will be saying “I remember this! I was in the quad when I studied this!”
My study tip is to take it slow when studying. I used to push myself to get as much studying done but now I take breaks so that my brain can process what I have studied. It is important to study with the aim of understanding and remembering, that is why it is important that I prepare or start studying from the beginning of the semester even if a class only has an exam, that way when exams come I will not be under a lot of pressure to go over a lot of material. All the best on your exams Ravens!
It’s always really helpful to be surrounded by others that are also studying, and not to be stuck in the same environment 24/7. Study at a friends house or in the library, make study notes in a quiet coffee shop.
I find the best way to remember concepts is teaching them to people. I like to pretend I’m preparing for a class to teach and go into my room and actually teach “students” what I’m trying to remember
I use a program called self control (free to download just google it!) that blocks all the distracting sites and set it for 45 minutes. I pick a subject and review my notes/readings and then do the practice problems. When the timer is up I take a 15 minute break, then do another subject. Every 2 hours I try to take a 30 minute break for a snack and a walk around the house or the neighborhood. I also put my phone on silent/nighttime and leave it under my pillow so there’s no distractions.
It’s one thing to memorize course material as a student but it’s a whole other thing to understand it as a prof. Guess what questions will be on the exam. Make your own mock exam. Make study worksheets or organize study groups where you’re explaining the material to each other. Approaching the material this way makes your brain remember it differently and probably understand it better. All the best!
Always laminate your notes, this allows you to simultaneously study and stress cry without worrying about smudging your work.
Before you study, start a group session. Make sure that you have all the notes that are required for the exam. Once you go home, organize the noted in a format which you are comfortable with. This process should be started at least 2 weeks in advance. MAKE SURE TO TAKE BREAKS. – go to the gym – listen to music – SLEEP – EAT If you do not give tour brain time to rest between study sessions then you will stress yourself out more. Allow your brain to have process times.
What you gotta do is lay out your content. This is all your lecture notes. But here’s the important part. You gotta take those notes, and from Week 1 on, you have to be Bob Barker. Start announcing your notes out loud (hopefully not in the Silent section of MacOdrum). Say it like you know it and you want everyone else to. Eventually you will come to understand it all and you’ll acquire some nifty speaking skills as well. The Price is Right, but I hope your exam answers are too.
For Finals make sure you are eating healthy, get at-least 7 hours of sleep. Review all your notes and do all the important questions/ examples. Don’t cram everything or leave everything for the last day. Make flashcards, or read through your books once, if you don’t understand something.Give yourself short breaks for 10-15 mins to listen to some music or just a quick nap! Be confident and believe in yourself. Good luck.
I use many but I think it boils down to knowing yourself since you are the one doing the studying, or even take home exams. I for example work better in the morning and before like , 4 . So I do my best work and studying in that time frame. I am not going to push myself to study past that. I also focus on the portions of courses I had most difficulty with I am not going to over study portions that I already understand
Prioritize your studying by making a study schedule. Study for an alloted amount of time each day leading up to the exam rather than waiting until the last day to study. This allows you time to take care of yourself by watching movies, going for walks and socializing with friends.
In a program which usually has essay based exams, I find it helpful to write my essays before hand. Usually the professor will give out possible topics but if not then I review my notes and guess as to what an essay question will be. I create my arguments and jot down my points in a one paged essay shell. This does take time but I’ve learned over 3.5 years that to succeed I need to prepare and leave procrastination behind. I then have about 8-10 pages of study notes for each class.
Pause. Breathe. Start again. You are loved and more than capitalist ideals of productivity.
The main component is rewriting important notes. For easy courses, I rewrite each set of slides as a big mind map then I stick it on a wall. For hard courses, I make cue cards (for important concepts) in addition to the usual notes rewriting. Each card has a question on one side and an answer on the other. When I finish making cue cards for one lecture, I stick them with tape along a string and I hang them between two walls. I take away string of cards when I can answer any question at any time.
Whenever I feel stressed I make a list or a schedule of things that need to get done, and then prioritize from there. I find it helps to reduce study stress by knowing that all of my tasks are set out and that I have time to complete everything (it’s also nice to create a weekly schedule; because then if I get a task done early it creates an opening in the next days list to do something not study related.
Go for a short walk beforehand. I find it stimulates your mind and it’s easier to absorb more information after, plus you’re more awake because of the fresh air.
I rewrite all my class notes. It sounds long, but it works better than memorizing. Writing down my notes makes everything stick into my head and all my answers just come to me at the exam. I also make sure to be well rested. It’s impossible to focus on no sleep! And always eat some good snacks…food fuels the brain!
I always study in intervals, so I don’t exhaust myself, get bored, or forget to eat. I find the best way is to study for 2-3 hours and take a short 15 or 30 minute break to refresh your mind, or reward yourself with a snack or quick youtube video before getting back to the books.
I read this book, by Blake McFly, called Campus Gets Wasted, he describes studying in short shifts like players on sports teams. Short bursts of high intensity that are rewarded with frequent breaks.Trying to cram everything into one 12-hour shift challenges your attention span, 12 one-hour shifts that are broken up with walks, healthy snacks and brain breaks sounds much easier!
Make sure that you are drinking a lot of water, and eating healthy. Set goals for yourself during your studying so that you are better motivate whilst studying
Go over all your lecture notes and write out all of the terms you need onto cue cards. Go over them for the days leading up to your exam and on the bus before your exam!
An issue I ran into once, was deciding how many hours I needed to dedicate into each subject. Later I learned that it doesn’t matter how much time you dedicate into a subject, that time you spent isn’t graded. When you study, just start. Put a timer on so you don’t have to constantly check the time so that you can focus on studying. Take 10 minute breaks after 40-50 minute sessions, to better split everything up. Don’t let time judge how much you need to study, you are the judge of that.
6-8 hours sleep, power naps, and healthy snacks like nuts, fruits and veggies can help maintain a well balanced mental state that can enable you to function twice your average capacity. In addition, summarizing your lectures in 3/4 key points can help when answering essay questions. Good luck and all the best 🙂
How do you even start studying? It’s hard to to get in the groove. The best thing to do is to make a summary of all the important topics that were covered in the course, and focusing on anything the professor may have alluded to. Once you’ve got your direction, the rest is up to you – night owl? Morning bird? No problem. Do what works for you. Just stick to a schedule and make sure you cover all your bases; the topic you skim over is the most likely one to crop up on the exam.
Now I know what you’re thinking, Group Study is another way to share banter with your friends and not get work done, but when you set a time deadline and decide that you have to complete so and so pages or slides within that time limit, you’ll feel the pressure and do it. Taking 10 minute breaks after every hour really helps too.
Motivation is the key to studying! I always like to set myself up for a reward at the end of a study day! It can be as simple as starbucks frapp or a donut from Tim Horton. Many course have a lot of theoretical content, so I find it easier to divide the work into the days available until the exam. Then I make a check list of what I’m doing that day. Once complete I reward myself with a treat of some sort for the accomplishment. My study notes are converted into my own words when reviewing.
I find that I can better remember what I’m studying if I have healthy snacks available. Carrots and hummus, bananas, even popcorn!
When I study, I had write notes that integrates content from the textbook, lecture notes, and what was said in class. I only write down what I don’t already know. Then, I go through those notes, and make a second set of notes with anything I still don’t remember. The process continues until I have only one or two pages of notes (or I run out if time 😛 ).
Don’t be afraid to take a break for however long or to take a short nap in between studying. When I study, after a while I tend to take a short nap then I wake up refreshed and ready to continue studying
For art history exams, they are extremely image based so I make note cards a week or so before the exam. I then study them in small numbers, 5 or 6 at a time, so I can really memorize them. It can be time consuming but it really works! (Also the process of making them can help you memorize them as well.)
Personally, the productivity of studying is directly related to location. No comfy lounging chairs or studying in bed for me, the risk of turning to social media or taking a nap is just too great. Give me a table and a straight back chair and I easily step into “study mode”. Finding those hidden quiet spots on campus is another key step in the process, and one of the best kept secrets among students. Many students rent while in school, but still feel they “own” a spot on campus, find yours!
Eat healthy food while studying especially try to stay away from fried foods as they can put you to sleep. As this will make it harder to study and will take longer for you to study. Once all the studying is done enjoy some fried food!
Being in a degree that is heavily influenced by quantitative based theories, I like to create a “cheat sheet” with all relevant equations and theorems through out the year accompanied by small explanations of their key points. These sheets help organize my thoughts and differentiate all equations while preparing for my exams.
Studying can be tiresome and reading tends to put me to sleep, so I incorporate breaks into my study time. I find it most effective to study for no more than 20 minutes at a time, then I take a very quick break, get up, stretch, have a snack if needed, drink some water, then get back to studying. Some people may prefer longer stretches between breaks but I find I can better focus when I keep the breaks fairly regular. It also gives my eyes a proper screen-break.
It’s great to study, but it’s also important to take breaks. I try to study for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break, or study for 40 minutes and take a 10 minute break. Regardless, you’ll learn more and you’ll feel better if you take a few small breaks while studying!