Study Tips — That Really Work!

Sick of getting study advice that fails? If you're dreading test and exam preparation and are struggling to get the marks you want, the problem could be in your approach to studying. Whereas common study tactics are helpful for some people, they may not do you any good.

What you need are methods that are scientifically proven to work! Let's take a look:

1. Test Yourself

There’s a reason flashcards are so popular — they work! Flashcards provide you with a quick and easy way to test yourself on facts that you know will be in exams. Find questions at the end of books to use on your flashcards or write down key information as you look over the material you covered in class. This technique is also great for studying as a group.

2. Spread Out Your Studying

You’ve probably heard that it’s a bad idea to cram, but maybe you continue to do it anyway. What you need to realize is that it’s impossible to retain a large amount of information the night before your exam. Never feel guilty about taking short, regular breaks — these are necessary. If you try to take in too much at once, you will just end up forgetting what you previously learned.

In the event that you do have a lot to learn and only a small amount of time, switch back and forth from one subject to another. Provided that the two subjects are quite different, you will have a better chance of remembering more of the information.

3. Care About the Information

It’s difficult to remember something if it has no importance to you. Simply needing to know the facts for an exam won’t cut it — you need a reason to care. Think about how the information relates to other things you’ve learned or even why it’s necessary for your long-term career goals. At a minimum, make up a story about the facts. This will help them stick in your head.

4. Find a Great Place to Study

Living on campus can make it hard to study; you’re always surrounded by distractions. Even if your friends know to leave you alone, your roommate may want to socialize.

You have two options: you can go somewhere else whenever you want to study or you can move off campus. The first choice can get old pretty quickly and there will be limits as to when you can study, because the library or your favourite coffee shop won't always be open. Moving off campus is a far better option. With your own room in an apartment or suite, you will have the peace and quiet you need to focus.

5.  Pretend You’re Taking an Exam

Once you have a place to study, pretend you are taking an exam. This means using your desk, not your bed, and getting dressed rather than staying in pajamas. Emulating the feel of an exam room while you study should help you recall information when you are actually in the exam.

Another option is to combine studying with moderate exercise to increase your heart rate — after all, your heart will likely be beating a little faster in the exam! You can do this by taking your flashcards to the gym and using a stationary  bike.

6. Stop Highlighting and Rereading

Techniques like highlighting, underlining, and rereading materials can be mindless. There’s no way to ensure that you are actually absorbing the information. Stop using those techniques and stick to tactics that actually work.

If you decide that living on campus is interfering with your studies, it may be time to look for quality, student-focused furnished apartments for rent. Edmonton students love Horizon Residence! It’s in a great location, it’s affordable, and you will share a suite with other students who have similar interests and lifestyles. Plus, if you prefer to study in a place other than your private bedroom, you can head to the onsite study lounge, which is a great place for studying with others.