Study tips to help you prepare for exams

Exams are nearly here! Take a look at the tips below to help you make the most of your study time.

1. Make yourself comfortable
Organise your study space. Make sure you have a comfortable chair, good lighting and a desk clear of distraction. It’s all about the feng shui!

2. Use a study timetable
Work out how much time you will spend on studying for each exam. Keep a to-do list of the different tasks you need to do each day – such as different textbook chapters to read and take notes on.

3. Figure out how you learn best
If you’re a visual learner then things like diagrams, mindmaps, colour coded notes and flashcards may be good learning tools for you.

If you’re a verbal learner it might be effective for you to read your notes aloud, talk to others about what you’ve learned, listen to voice recordings of your notes and use tools like acronyms or rhymes.

4. Go through your notes
Gather your lecture notes and determine what the most important areas of focus are. Review your notes by reading actively – concentrate on what you are reading. Condense your notes and underline/highlight key terms.

5. Make the most of your resources
Use past exam papers for practice. You can get these from the library, or through your lecturer. These allow you to see what questions are typically asked and what is expected of you.

6. Get a study group together
Form a study group so you can revise with others. Try question and answer sessions.

7. Give yourself a break
Study getting a bit intense? Forgotten what fresh air smells like? Take regular breaks, get some exercise, eat well and make sure you get some sleep. Research suggests if you keep moving and eating well you will find it easier to concentrate and retain information.

Academic Skills Centre | Pokapū Pūkenga Ako
For help with revision and exam preparation and stress management check out the Academic Skills Centre.

More information
Read more about coping with exams.
Watch this video for tips on finding your personal learning style.

Your study tips 
We asked for your study tips – here’s what you told us…

“Focus on one thing at a time, this could be one topic, one subject or one paper.” – Anahita, first year engineering student  

“I listen to instrumental music from movies that make me happy while I study.” – Elizabeth, fifth year law and arts student

“50 minutes of study, 10 minutes of doing nothing.” – Ra, first year law and science student

“Make your to do list on your calendar – use Google calendar to block out study time, that way you get a more realistic idea of how long everything is going to take you.” – Verity, second year engineering and arts students

Got a study tip? Share it in the comments section.

One thought on “Study tips to help you prepare for exams”

  1. Find the time of day when you are most focused. For me, it’s the early hours of the morning, so I get up early, do some study before going back to bed for a couple more hours, then get up and do some more study. When I’ve completed my days to do list, reward myself with the remainder if the day doing what I enjoy doing. Good Luck everyone 🙂

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