Personal Productivity

How to Survive Your College Exams

study for exams without stress
wrote this on August 30, 2011
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It’s not easy to survive your college exams, preparing for exams is one of your toughest challenges during college. As if that wasn’t enough, you’re also juggling your “social activities” and and an ever-changing support network. It’s enough to break even the most determined student.

Ultimately, your college success is measured by your grades (which will help determine your professional future), and by the meaningful relationships that you develop (which will impact your life on a more personal level).

As we get ready to start the fall semester, we created this “Ultimate Guide on How to Survive Your College Exams” post. Preparing for your exams starts long before the exams period. That’s why we’ve split this post into two sections: “Prior to exams” and a “During exams”.

Prior to exams

#1 If and when you attend lectures, your professor is most likely covering the materials he or she thinks are important. If they are important to your professors, most likely they will be tested. So make sure you take notes and arrange them in a folder that you’ll be able to access later on. Plan ahead what you’re going to study during the exams.

#2 One word – backup. I can’t tell you the countless times people on our staff lost notes, broke laptops, crashed hard drives, etc. Its almost 2012 people, take your notes and store them on the cloud. If you actually went to class, it would be a shame to lose those notes. With IQTELL, you’ll be able to access them anywhere, anytime, with no fear of losing them.

#3 There’s power in rituals. If you make sure you do the same things for an extended period of time, you help yourself create habits that will help with your productivity. For instance, have set days/hours for studying, exercising, and of course “social activities”.

#4 Find or create a study group for every class. Social learning can take place outside of a bar. Studying with others will improve your motivation and focus.

#5 Sit in the front of the class. Yes, what your parents said is true. Sitting closer to the professor means fewer distractions and better comprehension. The added bonus is that you’ll likely bump into someone who will be a great study buddy.

#6 During the spring, your motivation will likely decrease. So, take harder courses during fall semesters.

#7 Manage your finances and expenses. The pressure to earn money can kill your ability to learn. Control your cash flow so your mind will be clear when you need to study.

During exams

#1 Plan your breaks. Breaks give your brain the power you need to study effectively for longer periods. Your breaks need to be relaxing, so give yourself a treat! A treat can be some Facebook time or going out for a breather. This is not a beer break!

#2 Procrastination leads to cramming and stress. No lecture here, just don’t procrastinate.

#3 Manage your study group like you’d manage a personal to do list. Plan the time you need for studying each class and execute your plan. When attending an exam study group, list clear objectives for each session and make sure they are achieved.

#4 Sleep 8 hours each day. Social activities can wait until after your exam.

Nutrition is an important success factor when you're preparing for exams

#5 Eat right and exercise. Maintaining stable levels of energy throughout the day requires more brain power than usual. Eating food that contains Vitamin B and C supports your physical and mental energy. Exercising helps you process that energy better and distribute it evenly during the day.

#6 Study the hardest subject first. Get the tough one out of the way because the brain is like a muscle, tire it and it will be less effective.

#7 On the morning of the exams, wake up early! Seriously, why take a chance?

Let us know if there are any additional tips you’d like to share. Also, let us know how IQTELL helped you to stay stress free during college! Good luck!

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