“Cramming” is a word becoming more popular in today’s college campuses. Cramming is when students wait until a few hours prior to the exam or the night before to start study. This may seem like a surefire idea to earn a good grade but in reality human brains retain more information when taken in gradually. Don’t worry! You don’t have to put yourself in this situation of learning multiple weeks’ worth of notes in a matter of a couple of hours. Here are some ways to help ease that process.
1. Make notecards gradually throughout the semester. Instead of taking the time to make notecards hours before the exam, try making 5-6 notecards after every class. Not only will this save you time when you begin cramming but it will also be stored already in your memory. I like to make notecards weekly. If you don’t want to buy notecards, do it digitally through Quizlet or purchase them from Omega Notes.
2. Get together with a study group in your class. There is a good chance that someone else in your class has the same questions as you. Your peers can learn from you and vice-versa. Pick a spot in the library a few days before the exam and talk about the content or make a list of questions that you would like to ask the professor.
3. Test yourself! This is a technique I have been using for two years. After every class, I make custom quizzes and take it while I’m studying a few days before the test. I usually make 6-10 questions for each class to make sure I touch on any possible points that may be brought up in the exam. This becomes pretty valuable as you may have something other students want so try listing them on Omega Notes to make a couple of bucks.
As I reach the end of Spring semester as a junior in college, my mind already wants to shift towards Summer vacation mode. I have one thing keeping me from being free of my class obligations: FINAL EXAMS.
Ending the semester on a good note can make your grade sky rocket to where you need it to be. Students cannot expect professors to give study guides for exams. Therefore, I prioritize making a study guide that’s easy to understand, underlines basic concepts, key vocabulary and practice questions. This is what I do:
First, I begin by going through the notes I took during class, usually from PowerPoint or directly from the professor’s lecture. Understanding the content that will go on a good review is the first part.
Secondly, I read the selected chapters from the coursepack on Omega Notes. The second part includes the structure and layout out of the document. Make the study guide attractive by bolding vocabulary, highlighting equations, inserting images & graphs and tailor the language! Sometimes professors use language that can make material more difficult to understand; make the guide in the language you comprehend. By bolding the vocabulary words and highlighting the equations, I can differentiate those words from the rest and memorize them. Adding addition personal notes such as page references or examples from class really help because.
If you feel like the professor may be moving to fast or there is just too much to write or type, write the main points and go back to them on the course pack or textbook later. Writing every single word on the PowerPoint slide may not help you understand the big picture of the concept. Often exams are tailored around understanding the big idea and knowing how to apply it to questions. What’s better than having a solid study guide for the exam that ensures a good grade? Well, making money off of it! By going to class every day and taking the time to make a study guide, you create a valuable product students will pay for. I sell all of my study guides on Omega Notes and earned over $300. That’s right, the big benefit is that I make money studying at really no cost.