Getting this email yesterday was slightly nerves inducing.
With classes yet to end and exams yet to start, the thought of having to get ready to move out was definitely towards the back of the mind. Now it’s an almost pleasant distraction from the revision I should be doing instead.
The last week of semester is an interesting one, the library and study spaces are suddenly busier and lecture attendance leaps to levels not seen since day one. Meanwhile you can feel the tension in the air rising.
This week I thought I’d share some tips for studying that I’ve found helpful throughout of the year…
- Do not start revision too early – probably the opposite advice that most people give, but I started revision way too soon for my mid-semester tests, and it just left me so drained by the time I actually had to do them. So I’m leaving things a little later for exams, in the hope that I won’t burn out, or at least not burn out as badly.
- If you need to get stuff done, then go where you will actually get stuff done – I’ve made the mistake of telling myself I’ll do X, Y and Z while staying in my room, but I don’t study well there so by the day’s end I’ll only have half of the first thing done.
- Write summaries to check understanding – this was never something I did in high school, but now I do it for almost all my subjects, I’ll start by writing out anything that could be useful for a topic, and then I summarise it down to just one page. I like to highlight the most important bits too, and if I really want to make sure I know my stuff, I’ll try recreate the summary without looking at it.
Breaks & Rewards – I feel like I mention this in almost every post, and I think half of it is to remind myself to do it more than anything. Spending 9am til 5pm in the library may sound like a recipe for success but in practice it’s probably not the most effective technique. For one, you’ll be utterly exhausted by the end of it (talking from experience…) and second, sitting down all day is definitely not good for you. I try not to do more than three hours of straight studying, and try to stand up and walk a little every hour. It’s a bit like a long-haul flight really. And if you’ve had a productive day, reward yourself!
Take advantage of past papers – while most Commerce causes have provided us with past papers as well as their answers, not every course does. Fortunately, the library holds a database of past exam papers. And a lot of the time if the answers haven’t been provided, you can ask your lecturer for them. This way you can not only put your knowledge to the test but also be more familiar with the format of the exams. I also like to do a past paper as one of the first steps of revision because you can use it to identify weak points and concentrate your revision around those areas.
But I think the most important thing, is when it comes to study strategies is to accept defeat and try something else. If studying in silence doesn’t work for you, don’t try and make it – you’ll just be wasting your time.
And now I should probably get back to my revision… until next time 👋