Midterms; that dreaded time of the year when we clean our rooms, wash our cars and make elaborate meals in the hope of delaying the inevitable studying for just a couple more hours. Regularly revising work during the term means you commit it to long term memory and don’t have to study as hard for exams. Studying smart is far more important than studying hard. If you adopt these helpful habits, you may find you have to study less to retain more information.
Don’t leave it to the last minute
OK, so it may be a little too late for this semester, but try to regularly reinforce what you have learned in class. After learning something new in class, go home and revise. This commits the information to long-term memory and you will find you remember more and have to study less come exam time. There are many ways to reinforce your classroom lessons. You don’t have to spend hours doing this, just take a couple of minutes to review and lock the new information into your long-term memory.
· When you come home, look up interesting facts on the internet and do some extra reading.
· Read over your notes, you can even record your readings on your laptop or your Smartphone so that you can play them back to yourself when you are studying.
· Talk about new information with your study group or friends and get their input.
· Watch online videos, documentaries or movies that deal with the subject.
· Summarize readings and text in short notes that you can use to revise and study. This means you won’t be trying to read the whole text book the night before the exam.
· If you don’t understand something, sort it out right away. Ask a friend or a teacher to help. Learning is a building-block exercise – if you don’t understand something now, you are unlikely to understand the rest of the classes that deal with this topic. Don’t start falling behind; get a tutor if you need extra help.
After one week, and then again after one month, review your notes. If you are unsure of something or don’t understand what you have written, then go back over the text book or ask a friend, tutor or a teacher for clarification. This revision should also take only a few minutes as you review your notes.
If you just take a few minutes out of your day to review new information, and set aside an hour to do the same thing each week, you will be amazed how much more you remember. Exams will be a cake walk when you have committed the semester’s information to your long term memory. By being prepared you will have time to get a good night’s sleep before the exam and rid yourself of pre-exam stress. You can focus on doing practice exams instead of trying to cram an entire semester’s work into one night.