You’ve worked hard to get into college and now, you’re faced with a heavier workload than you did in high school. Class participation, assignments, quizzes, presentations, group projects, mid-term exams, and final exams are all challenges you must overcome to finally pass the course.
However, simply passing the course to earn credit hours just enough to get the degree shouldn’t be your goal. You may have observed many college students wondering whether GPA matters. To a great extent, it does matter.
Recruiters often look for people with a degree, but imagine how much of a boost your job application could get if you finished college with an above average GPA. To do that, you need to ace your exams.
Let’s take a look at these tips on how to study for a test in college.
Clear eyes and full hearts can’t lose
That’s Coach Taylor’s catchphrase from the iconic show Friday Night Lights. He led his team of high school football players through inspiration.
Without having a clear picture of why you’re pursuing a college degree and what finishing with a good GPA will get you, you’ll find it hard to do your best. Think of your motivations and imagine yourself as the successful professional or businessperson you will be after you’re done studying.
Know that even if you are doing everything right, success is not guaranteed. But, without doing everything right, success is definitely elusive.
Clear eyes (always stay away from drugs and alcohol under 21), full hearts (be sincere to yourself and others) and you can’t lose!
When you’re in class and when you’re studying, resist the temptation to look at irrelevant stuff on your phone and laptop. Snapchat, IG, and Facebook can wait. Funny dog videos on YouTube will still be there when you’re free. Your friends will understand that you are busy when your textbooks are open in front of you.
Carefully listen to the professor in class and get through your academic tasks when in your own space. Just like how a physically fit person never compromises their time in the gym, you can’t let anything else interfere with your studying!
It may be obvious, but relying on the professor’s PowerPoint slides isn’t enough. You have to take meticulous notes and place a special mark on points you feel like exploring further later in your own time.
Pay special attention to the unique aspects of the lecture which you won’t find in your textbook or online. The class instructor may also be dropping hints about the exam, so keep your ears open!
Take small breaks
It’s important to give yourself a rest after a while.
For example, if you’ve studied for an hour non-stop, it’s time to take a 15-minute break. Call a friend, talk to your family, play with your pet or check your social media. You deserve it!
Refreshing your mind is important to avoid burnout.
Participate in group studies
Some people study better on their own while others study better with their classmates.
Participating in a group study is helpful if there are too many lectures to cover for the exam. Each member of the study group may impart value to the group by sharing their knowledge, skills, and their unique perspective.
Academic researchers have found study groups to be an effective method of preparing for exams. Group dynamics affect the learning curve, making it less steep. It allows students to question each other and have concepts explained in easy-to-understand language.
Besides the academic help you can get and give, the group can be a source of emotional support, particularly in dealing with the pressures of college life.
Use online resources
No matter which field of knowledge you’re pursuing, the internet is a treasure chest of useful information for you. Find credible websites through Google to delve deeper into topics. Usually, for any specific keywords, the websites near the top are authoritative resources on the subject.
Many printed textbooks have case studies or information boxes urging students to read more online. Check out those resources as they are directly relevant to your subject.
Your university may have also provided you access to academic journal search engines such as JSTOR.
Make the best use of them by checking out what academic researchers had to say on the subject. You can impress your professor by referencing these published researches in your papers and exams.
Have a good internet connection
You have to submit assignments online and you have to check your student email. You have to write your papers after extensive research. For all those tasks, you need a reliable and fast internet connection.
Students today are usually drowning in debt, making it hard for them to secure a decent a internet connection. That’s why it’s imperative to find the best internet deals in your zip code.
Know the syllabus
Remember that sheet of paper you got in the first class you attended which had the course information and syllabus on it? If you didn’t keep it or even refer to it once since the course started, that’s a sign you’re not giving it your all.
Why? Because you can’t revise the entire syllabus without having it in front of you!
When you’re preparing for an exam, you should have the syllabus in front of you to make sure you’ve covered every topic.
Talk to last semester’s students
Do you know anyone who took the same course with the same professor last semester?
Seek them out and ask them what was on the exam. Often times, they will tell you in detail what the questions on the exam were. Many of the same concepts will appear on the tests when it’s your turn to do the exam.
Don’t take just one student’s word for it though. Each may have a personal positive or negative bias about the instructor. Try to talk to multiple people who were in the same class last semester and prepare extra hard for concepts they all said were on the exam.
Consult with the professor
The professors have office hours dedicated to meeting with students. It could be through appointment or a walk-in session.
When speaking with your professor, simply talk about the course and clear any confusions regarding the academic material.
Try to see the course instructor in the office at least 2 to 3 times per semester. If they can put a face to the name and they know you’re trying, they’re likely to give you a better grade.
Good Luck With Your Exams!
Just give it your best shot. Follow these tips on how to study for a test in college and you will most likely end up with a decent grade.