STUDYING FOR EXAMS EFFECTIVELY

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Krisha Patel

Read more to find some study tips for upcoming exams!

As the next nine weeks approaches, so are many end-of-course exams like class finals, Advanced Placement (AP) tests, the American College Test (ACT), and more. They draw on the knowledge a student has learned over the course of a whole semester, class, or high school career.  These upcoming exams can be very daunting, but with effective studying methods, you can feel a lot more prepared and confident in your knowledge and pass the test. 

 

 The first thing to know is that there are many resources for studying. For class finals, one of the best things to start with is taking notes throughout the course of the class. Notes taken in class help condense the information of what the teacher has taught, and are good for jogging memory of lessons.  A tip is to note important things that will likely be on the test. 

 

Other resources with the same method  of studying are quiz-type websites like Quizlet, Quizizz, and  Kahoot. With many different quizzes to test yourself or refresh your memory, Quizlet has flashcards and a ‘learn’ mode that specializes the terms it gives you based on your mistakes.

 

Notes and Quizlet are the go-tos. SHS junior Eshal Ahmad states: “I usually go through notes, or like, a lot of my teachers upload a Quizlet, so I go through those. My notes aren’t like fancy… they’re just made easy for me to understand.” 

 

Another student, SHS junior Comariee Allen, only really uses notes to review for her classes. She says: “My notes are kind of complex…[I] take them how they are on board… mak[ing] sure I get every piece of information I can possibly get, and then some.”

 

A more diverse resource is videos on sites like Youtube where there are videos on various topics. Videos can range from quick short recaps to long, comprehensive reviews on a subject. There are also videos on what to expect on specific tests, like the AP World History exams, and recounts from people who took it. Speaking of AP, the official College Board website, AP Classroom, has practice SATs and AP tests, review videos, and general information.  

 

For more in-depth knowledge, there are textbooks for many classes that are filled to the brim with information. Students can find them online and in the media center.

 

To make the most use of those resources, the best thing to do first is to plan ahead: schedule some time to sit down and study. It helps to make the load a lot less intimidating, and it improves the productivity of studying. One of the best things to do before you study is getting some rest.   Eat a good meal if possible, and take care of your body. It is hard to study when you are on an empty stomach, too exhausted to think, or stressing about work you have to do in the future. If you plan ahead, you can consider those factors and work around them such as scheduling to study on a day when you are off from work or school. It also helps prevent last minute studying.

 

Allen states: “I study like a few nights before, then later I study a few minutes before the test to refresh.”

 

A good way to study is to start with the most important things that will definitely be on the exam, then trickle down to what will probably be, and finally to what is least likely to be. In this way, if you run out of time, that core understanding will be there. 

 

It is also good to experiment to find what works best for you. Different people learn and memorize things in their own ways; maybe you are only used to reviewing with notes and textbooks. To change it up, you can try dividing the notes up into flashcards, or try watching a few videos. Watching videos from entertaining creators is also good for making things less boring; it is a break from all the reading you got to do while still learning.

 

More tips that can help are creating a playlist of soothing music, turning off distractions, and setting timers for breaks. Remember if you ever feel stuck on something, you can always ask a classmate or a teacher for help!