Top 3 Tips – How to Study for Exams 2024 Guide

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For you to gauge how well you grasp your studies, you need to do exams. It is no secret that the exam period is one of the most stressful times in your life. It is because you think that you need to work hard when you should be working smart. By now, you might be having good notes and have practice test questions to use. The only thing left is to get a perfect score.

Since you have been preparing, here is some advice to get you across the finish line.

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1. Increase your retention capacity

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It is basic knowledge that examinations are all about having you repeat what you learn. That means you need to find ways to increase your retention capacity. Reading things is easy. However, keeping what you read in your head is harder than you think. There are two ways students use to retain information:


You can try cramming all the information when exam time is near. Most students who do not have adequate time to study find themselves doing this. The problem with cramming is that you need to concentrate a lot, and it can be stressful and increase your anxiety levels. Also, the slightest distraction can make you lose all the information you put in your head.

Spaced repetition

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The best way to increase your retention capability is through frequent revision, also known as spaced repetition. It is reviewing your material frequently over time until exam day comes. Research shows that doing this will increase your retention capacity. It also ensures you have fewer challenges during the exam period and is not stressful.

When you learn something, it is stored in the part of the brain that handles short-term memory. If you do not revise your work frequently, you will find yourself forgetting it over time. For you to remember what you learn, you need to constantly study your material until it sticks to the long-term part of your brain.

There are different ways you can revise to make it easier to remember. You can use flashcards, charts and there are apps like Shovel that can help. You can test yourself by answering practice tests. The key to success is by having enough time to prepare for your exams. You need to have a study plan that helps you allocate time to study. When you study over a long period, you will find it easier to remember what you learn without stressing yourself out. You will also correct any mistake early on and cover more ground to avoid any surprises.

2. Test yourself

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When studying, you need to find ways to test yourself. You can do this through practice tests. After studying a certain concept, you can answer practice questions to see if you understood it well. That way, you can have an idea of how professors ask questions. Doing practice questions is a good way to sharpen your mind and jog your memory. It will help you figure out the areas that require your focus.

You can test yourself by doing the following.

  1. Write the questions down.
  2. Answer the questions without looking at your book.
  3. After answering the questions, review them and compare your answers with your notes. You can also try reading your answers out loud as if you are teaching someone else.
  4. If you do not get certain questions, go back to your notes and go through them.
    You can do this as frequently as possible until you grasp all aspects of your course.

3. Put more effort into what you do not know.

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The biggest challenge students face when studying for exams is that you tend to focus on what you already know and avoid the hard stuff. When you see students revising, you often find them scanning their notes and textbooks looking for what they might not know. While doing this, they waste time revising what they already know.

To avoid wasting time, you need to separate the material you know from the material you do not know. That will make it easier for you to use your energy on what you do not know. Here is a tip on how you can revise more efficiently.

You can look at practice tests and cancel any questions you can answer easily. The ones that you need to spend more time on are those that you find challenging. Every time you are studying, you can cancel out what you know and focus on learning what you do not understand. However, avoid crossing things off too early. You might find yourself crossing off what you do not know, and this will lead to you blanking out during your exam. You can try using a flashcard app that will automatically cancel what you already know.

No over-studying

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The main benefit of focusing on what you do not know is that you will not over-study. Over-studying is not as good as you waste your time. It can make you anxious since you will find yourself covering lots of material and time is running out. To avoid this, you need to separate what you know and what you do not know. Then, it would be best if you focused your energy learning what you do not know.

You can trust your instincts when they tell you that you are overdoing things to prevent you from burning out. If you have good notes, did practice tests, and believe you have everything covered, then you are done with exam preparation for that exam. You can now start reviewing material for another exam.

What to do before your exam

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The night before your exams, you need to look at your notes and go through the areas that give you a challenge. It will benefit you if you get enough rest before your exam and avoid any unnecessary stress. It is normal to be nervous during the exam period, but you should not let it affect your concentration.

The exam period can be stressful for anyone. However, with adequate planning, you will ace your exams and never worry about last-minute cramming again. Instead, you will always find yourself knowing the answers by heart.

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