With finals just a few short weeks away, now is the time to begin studying.  By taking the time now to study, you will reduce your stress and increase your chances of doing better on the exam. And who doesn’t want to do better on exams?  Besides, all nighters are so freshman year.

Study guides are one of the best way to have all of the exam information in one place.  Some professors provide study guides that outline exactly what will be on the exam. If your professor doesn’t create a study guide, you should still make one so that an entire semester’s worth of information is condensed and in a take-anywhere format.  The goal is to be able to review the study guide anywhere and at any time.

To begin creating a study guide, gather up all of your notes and handouts from the semester.  Then start listing ideas, making sure to group similar ideas together.  Don’t feel pressure to use full sentences – brief, concise phrases are appropriate here.  Use bullet points for supporting details.  If you are using a typing your study guide (as I recommend), try using colored fonts, underlining, italicizing, or any other way to distinguish and separate your information.  Don’t forget to add important
images, graphs, or charts.  The key here is to add anything that will help you remember the information.

I love to make my study guides digital so that I can access it on my smartphone.  Having my study guide in digital form makes it easy to update it.  Then I review the study guide constantly: in line for food, waiting for a class to start, while making breakfast, during commercials on television, or any other chance when I have a few minutes to spare.  The key is to review small chunks of information repeatedly and over a long period of time.  By reviewing a little every day (rather than cramming), you are more likely to move that information to your long term memory.

What are your favorite tips to study for final exams?  Do you have a countdown until the end of the semester/quarter?

[Photo Courtesy of Flickr User Breahn using CC 2.0 Attribution License]