Library

13 October 2015

How to make the most of exam revision

Even if you tried these tips for effective study last semester, have a read of them again ! It might be helpful...by Clinton Bell



With end-of-semester exams rapidly approaching, it’s time for some serious study… but it can be difficult to juggle the exam-time crunch with the rest of your life.

Keep it regular

Waiting until the day before the exam to start revising is a terrible idea - and not just because it means less study time. Research has shown that you’re more likely to remember things if you spread your revision sessions out. In other words, it’s better to study a subject one hour a day for seven days than to study it for seven hours in one day.

If time is short, you can try changing between tasks to break up your study. After reading a chapter, instead of doing the exercises immediately, try studying a different topic for an hour before coming back to them. This helps you practise holding what you’ve learned in long-term memory, instead of forgetting it the moment you’re done with that chapter!

Student, test thyself

Speaking of exercises, one of the best ways to prepare for an exam is by testing yourself. Practice makes perfect, after all! Flash cards are a popular way to do this, but you can also do the exercises from your books, get someone else to ask you questions, or do past exams. You could check with your lecturer if you can't find previous exams for your unit.

If you want to take things a step further, try doing a past exam in exam conditions. Turn off your phone, turn off the music, sit at your desk, and set the same time limit as the actual exam. This can help you avoid exam-day nerves by getting used to the conditions you will be working in on the day. It also gives you a feel for how long you have to complete the exam.

Be practical

Knowing the material is all well and good, but don’t forget to look after practical concerns as well! If there’s any equipment you need, buy or borrow it before exam day - and if you need a calculator, check that the batteries work. Also make sure you know exactly when and where your exam is, and how to get there. If you’ve never been to the exam venue before, try making the trip next time you need a study break!

Above all, remember that successful study is about how much you learn, not how much time you spend hunched over your desk. So use these tips, or the Library's quick guide to Exam revision strategies, to make your time count, and good luck on your exams!

Got a study strategy that works well for you? Share it in the comments or on Twitter @monashunilib



Photo: Cookie study, by David Simonetti, 2007


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