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Home Centennial College Blog 2012 November 28 How to Prepare for Exams

How to Prepare for Exams

Picture of students studying

It’s no secret that many university and college students are expert procrastinators. Often when there is a big test coming up, they’ll sit down at their computer prepared to begin a hard studying session, but before they know it they’ll have already killed an hour or two by going through the daily routine of Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, etc.

Suddenly they’ll be refreshing their Facebook page for the thirteenth time to see if anyone has updated anything in the last 30 seconds.

Studying for exams shouldn’t be such a horrible chore, especially if you have gone to college for a program which you are truly interested in. I’m not saying that every class in your program is absolutely enthralling, but it shouldn’t feel like torture either. That’s why I have an exam routine that I’ve used in the past four years of university and hope to use this year for my college exams as well.

They may not all work for you, but I suggest giving them a try...it might prevent you from wasting an hour creeping your ex-boyfriend’s cousin’s friend’s Facebook page when you should be studying.

1. Put on some background noise. Some people might find this distracting, but many (like myself) can actually find it motivating. I’m not saying watch the latest episode of your favourite t.v. show while trying to study (because we all know you’ll get no work done until you find out who got kicked off The X-Factor). But listening to some calming music can make the work feel like it’s going by faster (my go-to studying music includes Mumford & Sons, Coldplay, and City and Colour).

2. Study with a partner. Big groups of more than three people probably won’t work very well, since everyone will be talking over one another, but studying with another person can work well if you get stumped by something and need someone to talk it through with someone.

3. E-mail your teachers. If there is a concept you went over in class that you still aren’t sure of, then there is no reason you can’t e-mail your teachers to get a bit of clarity. They might even have a time available that you can go to their office to talk to them.

4. Drink caffeine. Studying with a warm tea or a strong coffee usually puts me into the mood to focus (although make sure you don’t overdo it with one too many Redbulls...your hands won’t be able to write notes if they’re shaking).

5. Get a good night’s sleep. Your notes will be waiting for you in the morning. Make sure you set a study schedule well before the exam so you have enough time get everything done; this will prevent any panicked last-minute cramming.

Happy studying!

- Kiley
 Twitter: @kiley_bell