Knowing how to study for exams plays a very important role in a student’s academic success. Students in university and college are under tremendous pressure to perform well in their studies. Each semester, they must absorb a lot of information from lectures and textbooks, as well as write essays and study exams. Students who perform well in this pressured academic environment are those who masters the concepts of how to study for exams, particularly, how to use their time effectively. Students who are having difficulty with their studies and exam preparations will benefit from learning improved time management techniques.
Procrastination is one of the biggest problems that students, who are having difficulty with their studies and exam preparations, need to conquer. They need to stop coming up with excuses for not getting down to study.
One common reason that many college and university students do not get good marks on exams is because they procrastinate on their studies.
They usually have advance knowledge of any tests coming up, but in many cases they tend to ignore the looming deadline. And, there are any number of reasons for this.
For example, they’re too busy pursuing an active social life, or trying to hold down a part‐ time job to make money. In some cases, they ignore their studies because they are overwhelmed by the work they need to do, or they may simply not realize the amount of studying that is required.
Why Cramming Isn’t Worth It
Many students try to make up for poor time management all semester by cramming feverishly the night before an exam. This kind of last minute studying is very ineffective because it is not how to study for exams.
It is not compatible with how the brain learns information. In most cases, the student learns too little, too late!
Unless students happen to be gifted with a photographic memory, they will need to read and review written materials in their textbooks and notes several times in order to remember it later.
Cramming for an exam the night before does not allow for information to be fully understood. The lack of review time means that much of the information will not be remembered during the exam.
Why Sleep is Important
Studying until the early hours of the morning on the day of an exam is asking for trouble. It means the student will probably go into the examination with very little sleep, which is not an ideal way to face a test.
The brain uses sleep as a time to consolidate important memories for long‐term storage. Without sufficient sleep the night before, the memory of what was studied will not be available.
Create a Workable Study Plan
Students need to devise a realistic how to study for exams plan that works throughout the semester.
For example, to prepare for an English Literature examination that’s weeks away, they’ll need to know how many chapters, or pages, will be on the exam. Then, they will need to calculate the number of pages or chapters that must be read each night, in order to finish all the material at least two weeks before the scheduled test date.
By creating a simple schedule of how many pages must be read each night, the student can easily see whether or not he or she will be prepared for the scheduled exam. The extra two weeks will give them additional time to review the material at least once or twice before the exam.
This buffer can also be useful in case the student becomes ill during the school term. By keeping up with studies throughout the term, the student can face exams with confidence, knowing he or she is adequately prepared.