If so you’re not alone. Many students make it through their entire college careers without ever mastering exam study techniques and their QCAs certainly reflect that. So if your grades are more Fs than successes, it might be time to take on board these simple study secrets to help you on your way to scholarly success.
Look Over Your Notes
If you’d started studying from day one, well you wouldn’t be reading this article now would you. Better late than never though, so get your notes out and take them lecture by lecture. Always try to be smart with your study. Remember the Campus.ie motto? Study smarter, not harder. When you’re going through your notes don’t be afraid to get out that highlighter and mark key words or phrases. In the long run an organised and strategized approach to both note-taking and revision will be the ticket to your exam success.
Questions are a great way to show your enthusiasm for a subject. They also show the lecturer or tutor that you’re engaging with the lesson. So next time you catch yourself doodling the next Mona Lisa in the margins of your notebook, stop and force yourself to pay attention. Remember there’s no such thing as a stupid question because you can be guaranteed, if you didn’t understand something there are 5 more people down the back of the class that didn’t get it either.
Take a Quiz or three
I’m not talking Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? or Tipping Point *the latter of which has scuppered many a study plan. No instead we’re talking about revision and self-testing. Look through your notes and lecture slides, and make out a set of question cards. At the start allow yourself a glance or two at the answers but by the 3rd go they should be tripping off your tongue like your ABCs. Don’t be afraid to get a sibling, best friend or parent involved in the learning process. Sometimes the only way to get through exam study is to force everyone else to suffer with you.
What do you do when you don’t understand a word that comes out of your lecturer’s mouth? Sit there and say nothing, cringing at your own perceived ineptitude? No of course not. Stick up that hand and make yourself know. As previously stated, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION. If all else fails and you’re too shy to ask for help, make a note and look it up later. Just don’t sit there and nod. If you need help clarifying things further, make use of your lecturer’s office hours and go in and have a chat.
We’re not asking you to run the Dublin Marathon or anything, but a simple walk, run or swim can do wonders for stress alleviation. It also completely revitalises your brain by triggering the release of endorphins. When it comes to study, positivity can be key to keeping you balanced and on track. On the other side of that coin is keeping yourself well-rested. Sleep is crucial to maintaining healthy brain function. Turn off all your gadgets an hour before bed and ensure you get your full 8 hours sleep. It doesn’t do anyone any favours to be catching up on their zzzs in the lecture hall, not for you or the class listening to you snore.
Will our top tips be enough to stop you doodling in the margins of your notebook and actually get on with some work? Let us know in the comments.