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Tips on How to Study Effectively for College Exams

written by: Mark-James McDougall•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 6/28/2011

Studying for college exams is a stressful affair for many college students, especially freshmen. Fortunately, many steps can be taken in order to reduce your stress levels and obtain the best exam results possible

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    College exams tend to be very thorough, and many college students have difficulty learning how to properly study for them. However, there are a few methods in which you can study effectively for your college exams. This article will outline some of the best tips on how to study for college exams.

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    Map out your exam dates

    As for many things in life, organization is very important when you are getting prepared to write college midterms or finals. At the beginning of the semester, ensure that you mark down all of your exam dates in your agenda or calendar. Once you have all of the dates marked down, take note of when all of your exams are, and how many days they are spaced apart. Marking down all of your exam dates in your agenda at the beginning of the semester keeps you aware of when your exams are, and allows you to prepare for the next tip, setting aside time to study.

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    Set aside study time

    Many college students tend to try cramming a day or two before their exam, and this is not a successful study strategy. Trying to remember a semester's worth of information will only lead to frustration and anxiety, which is why study time is important. Begin studying for your exam approximately two weeks before the scheduled exam date. The ideal situation is to set aside one-hour study sessions approximately three to four days a week. By studying a little bit of material each night, your brain will retain the information much better. Also, by breaking up your study period into smaller sessions, studying will be much less boring, and depending on the course, it may even be interesting!

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    Note-taking is important

    Not only is it important to set aside time to study for your college exams, it is also important to take and review class notes on a regular basis. Try to look over your class notes for about a half hour each night, and look for any areas in which you are having difficulty in. Reviewing your notes each night allows you to keep the course fresh in your mind, and helps you to decide what you need to work on during your main study session. If you are having difficulty with some of the material, don't hesitate to visit your professor's office during their office hours in order to see if they can help guide you in the right direction.

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    In conclusion it is clear to see that by following these simple college exam study tips, you can minimize your stress levels and maximize your test scores. It is important to plan your time well and avoid cramming for an exam, as it simply leads to increased stress levels and possibly poor exam results.