Study Tips for Acing Your Exams

It’s that time of semester! Final exams at Bishop’s are coming up! We would like to share some great tips for studying that can help you ace that tough exam. This is inspired by a document titled “Power Studying at Bishop’s University” written by Student Services.

Student exchange student Keenan Thompson from Miami, Florida

Know what to memorize. Know what to understand.

It can be easy to feel distressed with all the course material we are given for our exams. Although sometimes memorization is needed, remember that it is crucial to understand the material to be able to use it in the long term. Understand the material so you can apply your knowledge outside your textbook examples. The four key things to remember is when reviewing your notes is: reduce, organize, associate, and rehearse.

Organize your class readings.

Often professors will give textbook pages to read and additional documents to review. It might seem like there is a lot to study, but if you organize all your readings, you can study more efficiently. There are three great ways you can break up your readings:

  1. Do a quick overview. Read the introduction of the chapter. Although it might feel redundant and boring, reading the introduction can allow you to orient yourself and know what you can expect from the chapter. The chapter summary is also helpful to look over once you have read the whole chapter.
  2. Make sure you focus on the right things. It can be difficult to concentrate on material that seems daunting, but if you break your readings into chunks and write questions you have as you get through the material, it will be easier to study them later. When you finish reading a chapter, go back to your questions and see if you can answer them.
  3. Review. Review. Once you have finished all your readings, bring it all together by finding links between ideas. By practicing this, you increase your retention of the material.

Avoid procrastination.

Procrastinating can easily trigger anxiety. Find tricks that can help you stay organized and not put everything to the last minute. Writing up something as simple as a to-do list can alleviate stress. Break down tasks if they are overwhelming. Set objectives and reward yourself when you complete them.

Find your space.

Make sure you are in a quiet place to study. Noise can be distracting and will deter the retention of material you study. Set up your desk so that everything is neat. If it is too distracting to study in your room, grab a comfy seat at the library where it is quiet. Make sure you stay hydrated, whether it be water or a warm beverage like tea. Know what helps you focus, and strive for it.

Seek help.

Is your class material difficult to understand? Having trouble comprehending parts of the teacher’s lecture? Remember that there are tutoring services available at Student Services. You will be paired with a tutor (another student) who will help you. Seeking for help is not a sign of failure, but rather a demonstration of your dedication and perseverance.


For more study tips, visit the Student Services webpage.

For more information on Tutoring Services, visit the Peer Tutoring webpage.

To read Power Studying at Bishop’s University written by Student Services, visit the webpage.

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