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Study smarter not harder: 7 studying tips for exams

As finals are some of the most stressful times for high schoolers and college students, preparing yourself can be challenging. With that, we’ve gathered some tips so you can study smarter, not harder.


During finals week, there is so much to do. Besides trying to memorise lectures, many students have to keep organised as well. We know what it’s like. I even woke up at 4 am to revise for my morning exams. The dedication and hardships of being a student and trying to get a good grade is tough. We feel your pain. So, today I’m here to share my studying tips. Get ready to increase your GPA and reduce some stress. Though remember, some techniques may not work for you as we all are different individuals.

[Hero & Feature Image Credit: Unsplash / Jaeyoung Geoffrey Kang]


7 studying tips for exams

Image Credit: Unsplash / Mikael Kristenson

Make full use of class time

Whilst talking to your friends during lectures is more fun, if you want a good grade, you have to work for it. That starts with making use of class time. Paying attention to lectures and note-taking is essential. Note-taking will allow you to have something to review that makes sense. Also, remember to ask questions during class time if you don’t understand something.

Sort your study schedule

Staying organised helps put school life at ease. Using a planner or the calendar app on your phone helps keep you on track. Remember to check out your class syllabus to help you plan a study schedule for each course.

Image Credit: Unsplash / Priscilla Du Preez

Study with friends

Revising with classmates can be fun and interactive. Plus, you can ask the other if one person doesn’t understand something. Not only will you help each other, but friends can give you that extra push you need.

Flashcards, flashcards, flashcards

Try using flashcards to help you remember important facts, theories, concepts, or events. In today’s digitalised world, we have so many resources available, especially online. Applications like Quizlet can help you study and learn by quizzing yourself without the help of others. It’s also easy to use, and you can find premade decks.

Make sure to understand the topic

While memorising is necessary for exam taking, understanding helps you fully apply the knowledge, especially in your own words. Plus, once you understand something, it’s easier to recall.

Prioritise good sleep and breaks

Although many students prefer pulling all-nighters, adequate sleep and taking breaks is super important. Poor sleep impacts one’s memory, reasoning, and creativity. Basically, it can reduce your exam performance, so make sure to get a good night’s rest. Also, according to research, taking breaks of around 5 to 60 minutes can help refresh the brain and body. This aids in an increase in productivity, energy, and focus.

Test yourself

The last tip is to test yourself. Taking mock tests or creating your own from topics you think will be on exams will help you know what you need to focus on. Doing this will help you understand the subjects on a deeper level. It’ll also help you organise what you need to prioritise.

Tipapa Chandarasrivongs

Drinking is best during the day, especially when at brunch. If she's not working, catch her at the gym or socializing with friends. An introvert extrovert at heart. She's a Capricorn.

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