Similar to creating a writing plan for papers, you should block out dedicated study time for major exams.
If you do this now, at the beginning of the semester (and stick to your schedule), then you won’t be pinched to find time to study.
It’s pretty simple:
- Reserve study blocks beginning about a week before the exam.
- Plan for multiple, short study times rather than longer blocks. Four blocks of 20 minutes each will probably make for better retention than a single two-hour marathon review.
- Reserve this time now, and plan around it.
If you have multiple exams in a single week, like around mid-terms or finals:
- Start a bit earlier.
- Schedule breaks in your study time. You can schedule shorter blocks of study time around other activities, or simply build a ten minute break into each hour of studying.
The point? Be proactive. (This is Habit #1 in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.) If you anticipate your needs ahead of time and provide for them, you won’t have to be reactive and frustrated at exam time.
Also consider these study ideas:
- Swap class notes with someone and read over your friend’s notes. This will help refresh your memory of lectures and pick up things you might have missed.
- If you’ve underlined and/or highlighted your class reading well, it should be relatively easy to review what you’ve read.
- Get a friend to quiz you on points you’ll be tested on. Iron sharpens iron, and it’s a good excuse to get coffee.