Can anyone suggest study tips for final exam?

Recently got my grades for uni mid-semester back and I failed... miserably. I got 1/4 of the overall marks. This is a blow to my confidence as I felt confident that I'd pass at the bare minimum. At this rate I won't pass the final exam which is contingent on me passing the overall subject.

Can anyone suggest any study tips to help me memorize material, self-assess my knowledge, improve efficiency etc and anything else relevant/beneficial or help/suggest me devise a study plan

final exam is in November


Most Helpful Girl

  • Highlight the important points in the book from each chapter, make sure to concentrate when reading the details , summarize the chapters and the most important titles and details either in the book itself (by writing it in the empty space next to the text) or in a notebook.
    After u finish all chapters revise what you've summarized

    Make sure to give yourself a break in between chapters so that you don't get confused with them.
    Also If you have several days before the exam, distribute the material in a way that you get a difficult part along with an easier one, don't just let the most difficult for last.

    And lastly, make sure to study the things you've already studied before (for previous exams) after the material that's left unstudied


Most Helpful Guys

  • Not sure I should answer since my way wasn't a very good one as I did not retain much of the information in the long run. Yet I became good at cramming a week or two before exams. I managed to get a 4.0 GPA in my freshman year without trying so hard and, according to my student adviser, I was the only one on campus with it. Yet that put undue pressure on my sophomore and following years to maintain it, and I did that by just many sleepless nights cramming before exams (on top of studying at a less frantic face before). That became worse when I got into partying as well where I made up for time lost studying by cramming.

    But I managed to retain the 4.0 GPA just through sheer cramming willpower. What I did was just average maybe 2 hours of sleep a day for the two weeks or so before exams while drinking endless cups of coffee. I used a highlighting marker not to highlight important sections of textbooks, but merely sections I read because I would start to lose focus and doze off if I didn't keep track of what I read and forget where I was. So I'd highlight the entire textbook from front to back and use notes on the side as my way of emphasizing key points.

    I'd also rely on external sources: Cliff Notes, online resources, whatever I could find to help me not only maintain a summary of the information but also to help me get interested in the material (sometimes the textbook would be extremely dry, but the subject itself was fascinating when I found external resources that approached it in a different way).

    Again this is not a very good way in the long run. I had to, in my career, revisit some former subjects and relearn them a bit with only a hazy memory of what I learned originally. But it can get you to ace exams in the short term if you're kind of desperate.

    • * on top of studying at a less frantic [/pace] before [...]

    • In my case one of the things I regret now is that I still did this very antisocially. I was still shy absent the liquid courage, and did not talk to my professors and pick their brain outside the classroom, did not form study groups with people taking the same class. I did it all very solo and in a very antisocial way. And I think it would have been easier to at least spend some of that time studying in a more social way.

  • What is your department? If it is engineering, you will almost have to make review every day and not wait for exams to come. You will need to solve the questions in books even if the teachers do not suggest.

    It requires constant studying to be ready for them. At least that's all I can say for my department.


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What Girls Said 5

  • I always did well in college. But I have a photog memory, I remember what I read with crystal clarity.

    Defo give yourself a break from studying and playing on your phone. Go out and party once a week. That will help you study better in the down times.

  • - Buy your own copy of important books. So you can use post-its, scribble in margins, highlight etc.
    - Look for stuff related to your subject online. You may find interesting video lectures!
    - Prepare your notes.
    - Use 50:10 policy. Read for 50 minutes without any distraction. Then try to revise whatever you read for 10 minutes

  • Well the stress is the most awefull feeling so you have to get away from it sleep well to memorize well and write all the important thing in papers and organize it well like a resume and you have to repeat everything over and over to not forget

  • Don't party.
    Get good rest.
    Eat Healthy.
    Don't wait last minute.
    Find a way that is easy to remember everything.
    Write it 10 times if you have to.
    Do whatever works.

  • I’ll pm you...


What Guys Said 14

  • I've never had a lot exams throughout my Uni times as I have to write tons of research papers instead. I actually wish I'd have more exams.

    That being said, here are a few things that have usually helped me:

    1. Make sure to create a comfortable work environment. I read through the comments and nobody else has mentioned this so far. I'm not surprised by that because people usually forget about the prelude and just talk/think about the actual studying. That's a huge mistake. Having a great work environment is absolutely crucial.
    There aren't any failsafe recipes to create a good atmosphere... what matters is that YOU like it and that YOU can focus. For example I can work much better at home than at Uni or at a library. For other people, it's the complete opposite. Have a well-organized desk, a good light source and a calm environment. If it helps, listen to music. However, I suggest keeping the volume low so it acts more as a backdrop. Also, don't choose something that's extremely aggressive. I personally I enjoy classical music for studying. If you want to, have some cookies or fruit on the side. I like to have a cup of tea or a cup of hot milk with honey on cold winter days.
    Whatever you do, make it cozy, nice and calm. A place where studying makes fun.

    2. Do NOT cram. Start early enough and make sure to take your time. If needed, write down a study plan so you won't get too much behind schedule. Don't study 10 hours a day because I guarantee you: you won't remember what you learned the day before. Take it easy. Just do 2-3 hours a day and listen to your body. If you feel like you can't concentrate anymore, stop and take a break. Don't shove the study material down your own throat because that won't lead to anything productive.

    3. Be strict with yourself. Try to study every single day unless you are sick. Friends asking you to party? Well, too bad, they need to party by themselves. Passing these exams has priority (but like I said before, be easy on yourself in terms of quantity). It's better to learn a little bit every single day instead of crazy amounts once a week.

    4. Get a lot of rest. Make sure to get enough (and good) sleep.

    5. Award yourself. Research in psychology has shown that awards can improve your motivation to study and also ability to focus. So, think of something small that makes you happy. In my case that's chocolate and cooking/eating dinner with my wife. But it can be anything. Every time you achieve your study goal for (cont.)

    • the day, give yourself a little gift. If you want to, you can also include small awards for finishing one hour of studying or something like that.

      6. Set your priorities first. Don't just study "into the wild". Try to figure out which things might be most important to know and what skills you absolutely must have. Do those first. Do less important stuff later.

      7. Tell yourself a story. This is one of my favorite study tricks: THE best way to know whether you have truly understood your material is to see if you can teach it to someone else. If possible, find a person who doesn't know a lot about your subject and try to explain to them what you have learned. However, oftentimes this is not possible because other people find it boring. So instead, close your book and tell it to yourself. Speak out loud as though you were holding a presentation in front of class. And be strict with yourself. Don't just skip things to save time. If you get stuck, re-open your book. That means you (cont.)

    • haven't quite grasped the concept yet.

      8. If you absolutely don't understand something, write it down. Once you have collected a few of those things, try to find someone who might be able to help you: a professor, a fellow student, perhaps even the internet.

      9. This one might sound a bit odd but it helps me. Imagine that you're doing something very important. Part of the reason why studying for exams can be so boring is because it seems kind of pointless. So, try to role-play with yourself. For example back in high school I would do my math homework and imagine I was this John Nash guy from the movie "A beautiful mind". When I write a research paper, I sometimes tell myself this will be published and it includes some monumental research (which is why it must be well-written). It may sound a bit silly but it really helps me.

      10. Lastly, be confident. Believe in yourself. Positive thinking DOES have an affect on your performance!

      - Experience from 10 years of being a Uni student lol

  • Back in college I usually would buy a couple of cappuccinos and dig in for the day.

    I would usually go to classes until like 2, then I'd work from 2-6 then I would eat dinner and study until like 3am.

    This isn't recommended for everyone, but in my experience you just need to put in the hours to study. Usually around a week before my tests I would identify my most important exams and assign a minimum amount of time to study for each of them. This time was based on the difficulty of the subject matter, and the importance of the exam. For instance it might look something like:

    Marketing - 5 hours
    Calculus - 10 hours
    Physics - 7 hours

    Then I would just lock myself in my room and do the studying, I would first read through the book and make an outline of each chapter. After that I'd go through the lectures and draw connections between what was learned in the book, and what was learned in the classroom. I'd finish with practice problems just to reinforce my understanding of the subject matter.

    After I spent the time doing that I would go back and reassess what I still needed to work on. This was usually 1-2 days before the exam. Then I would do more practice problems, and just continue reviewing my week areas until the exam.

    I wasn't the most successful student, but I usually did better than average. Most people think intelligence is what you need to pass an exam, but in my experience it's all about work ethic. If you put in the time to study you will be infinitely better off than if you wing it.

  • 1. Don't be concern about memorization. That's not a good way to learn things. I'm successful at school mainly because I concern myself more with how we know things then just what we know.
    2. Sometimes on tests they'll ask questions you don't know. The first step would greatly help with this. Make reasonable inferences from your reservoir of knowledge.
    3. Sometimes, if on test, they have these questions where it's using a letter only once. If you narrow it down to two questions and you aren't sure, give both of them the same answer. Why? If you get both of them right, you get 100% of the point from both of those questions. If you get both of them wrong, you get 0% from both those questions. Doing this test over and over, we should expect pure guesswork yields you 50% success. But the thing is, this is only 1 test. By giving both of them the same mark, you're ensuring you'll get 50%.
    4. I also suggest you to learn how to relax sometimes. Sometimes, you need to slow down and look at the bigger picture before engaging.
    5. If you're doing math, I always suggest using two or more methods to verify you're answer is right. Try working on the problem backwards to make sure you come back to where you started.
    6. Time is of the essence. Study weeks, even months before. I suggest you study ahead. Note taking isn't easy. And be sure to review your stuff several times before the test.
    7. Collaboration is good for studying. Talk to people you know to gain different perspectives on how to deal with an overwhelming problem.
    8. Finally, don't procrasturbate.

    • Also, if you're stuck on questions and the test was designed by hand, your best bet for random guessing is to choose one letter and to stick to it. All or none of the above answers generally are right 52% of the time. Also on multiple choice, there's one thing you need to keep in mind. There's only one right answer and the others are just distractions.

  • Do you study with a partner or a group?
    Do you have access to prior final exams?
    Try reading your notes aloud. Sometimes hearing the material helps to remember more than simply reading it silently to yourself.

  • When studying, periodically get up and walk around for five minutes. The break and the exercise helps clear the mind. Also, eat less, and avoid heavy meals, the evening before a big test, or the day of the big test. Yes, eat and drink, just avoid big or heavy meals.

  • Study with the smart students in class and do a study group.

  • Sorry to hear that lad.

    My exam technique consists of looking at old papers and practicing the questions until it becomes second nature. Especially the way questions flow you hit trigger points that remind you "oh i need to do XYZ here, remember to check your power value".

    Everyone i've ever known has done better at something when they are constantly doing it. We had coursework to do with structural mechanics last year and the coursework content could be applied to the exam, having done the coursework for so long i found the exam really easy.

  • I used to create diagrams of notes using different coloured pens and then stick them to my wall next to where I was sitting. It could be anything from basic material (an example that I did would be studies supporting or arguing against certain ideas, who carried them out, the dates, etc) or it could be more in-depth ideas
    For me, when every 'section' of notes is divided into a different colour, it makes it more digestable. This helped with learning it. Sticking it on the wall allowed me to glance at it more often that I would if it was in a notepad. I'd even use sticky notes around my flat with important details.

  • You mean you're supposed to study for those things! No wonder my life sucks.

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