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How To Prep for an Exam (After Event Tips)


Thank you to our partners Graduate Student Council (GSC), Graduate College, and Undergraduate Student Government (USG)!


You’re not alone! Challenges of studying: low motivation, too many distractions, zero or low focus, not enjoying the subject you’re studying, lack of resources and not knowing how to study.

The first step to studying efficiently: Learn your learning style
*Learning style may vary from person to person and for each subject.

  • Kinesthetic (physical)- flashcards & handwritten notes
  • Visual (spatial)-graphs & color coded notes
  • Aural (auditory–music)- podcast & recorded lessons
  • Verbal (linguistic)- songs & reading aloud
  • Logical (mathematical)- problem-solving
  • Social (interpersonal)- study groups
  • Solitary (intrapersonal)- study alone

Learn your style by taking the quiz:

Studying Tips: Heading link

  • Get Informed: Learn the test format and what it will cover
  • Think like your Professor: All your daily assignments contain problems that will be similar to the exam so it is beneficial to review all your handouts
  • Make your own study aids: Make your own study guide or practice quiz
  • Practice for the inevitable: Make a list of questions that you think might be on the test and practice those as well!
  • Study and review actively not passively: Don’t just read the information, ask yourself questions and answer Use flashcards or have someone else quiz you.
  • Study in short NOT long sessions: 3 two-hour sessions are far more productive for most students than 1 six- hour
  • Check your syllabus! Learn and write down due dates
    • Tip: Use a planner to plan studying for exams/working on assignments AT LEAST 1 week before due date or exam
  • Create smaller goals: to help motivate you to finish a task and work on other tasks. Lessen the load of (Positive reinforcement)
  • Take care of your overall wellness! Eat nutritious food and SLEEP!
  • Practice taking breaks and self-care. You are your biggest asset so take care of you by scheduling time to do what you love. Remind yourself why you’re here and give yourself tons of love and credit for getting this far!

How to deal with stress/anxiety (tips from panelist and Wellness Center) Heading link

*We all go through challenging times. That’s normal. Not being okay is okay. However, to help reduce stress and feeling like we are on our own we encourage you to implement some of the tips mentioned below.

  • Figure out the best/ideal testing environment: Think: do you need extra time? Do you need to sit next to someone? Do you prefer lights off?
  • Try to replicate the exam same testing environment: If you have a 2-hour Zoom test practice taking a practice test for 2 hours on Zoom. Get your parents/ friend(s) /roommates to proctor the exam for you!
  • Plan ahead and plan accordingly: Organize your time and exams as soon as possible. Once you have a plan create a routine.
  • Take breaks! Throughout your studying sessions take breaks to do the things you love! Don’t overwhelm yourself with studying hours on end. Practice self-care and self-love (practice positive self-talk like making a mantra, or listening to uplifting music).
  • Self-care: Add some elements of self-care to your life. Ex: mini spa, social media detox, journaling, 20min power nap, face mask.
  • Find out the trigger. Pinpoint what is stressing you out and create a plan of action to do something about it.
  • Talk to your professors and TA’s. If the format of an exam or exam content is stressing you out let them know. Chances are you’re not the only one feeling that way. You matter so advocate for
  • Practice some breathing exercises to help ground you. Download Headspace

Panelist advice for studying virtually/managing online classes: Heading link

  • Know what your final goal is. Tip: Create a goal for each class e.g. create a goal to make X amount of comments in the discussion, goal to keep the video on for X amount of min.
  • Actively try to keep video on as it helps with engagement and accountability
  • Participate in class discussions ++ Office hours!!
  • Set alarms on phone and calendar reminders about upcoming deadlines
  • Schedule “me- time”
  • Create a study environment/ maximize your study space!
    • Determine what time you study the best
    • Set up good lighting to keep you awake and alert
    • Remove unnecessary distractions and stimuli
    • Have a notepad (use this as your to-do list and or to write down what’s distracting you so you can go back to them later when done studying. Schedule to work on something Remain focus!)
    • Play music. Look up YouTube study beats or Spotify studying genre
    • Find a quiet place for you to focus
    • Get a comfortable chair
    • Put a sign on your door at home when you’re studying

Panelist Advice+ Words of Encouragement:

  • “Know what works for you + Sleep! Sleep! Sleep!”
  • “Have your own study Listen to music.”
  • “Positive affirmations will push you through + seek Asking for help can be intimidating but VERY beneficial!”
  • “Be the best you that you can be because there is only one you!”
  • “Experiment! College and life is about experimenting with what works for you”
  • “ Take care and focus on your general wellness too”
  • “Create goals for yourself ++ do a little every day”
  • “Go to office hours! Write down questions about the HW and lecture and take them to office hours. Bring a friend so it’s less intimidating”

Resources: Heading link