How to Study for Exams like a Pro

By Ontario Tech University Modified on March 12, 2020

Working in groups, educational videos, and the right environment can all contribute to exam success.

Students at Ontario Tech University study quietly together in the library to prepare for their exams.

Just like snowflakes, every person's studying technique is unique. Different methods work for different people, and while it can be a stressful process figuring out what works for you, it's important to remember that you're not alone. There are lots of resources and tips available to help you ace your exams, no matter your program or degree!

Study sessions

Who said studying has to be an individual process? Study groups are ideal if you're struggling with procrastination or having trouble understanding the material's context. Meeting your group at a fixed time will help motivate you and your study mates to get to work and perform well on your exam!

Try to organize small study sessions with people you know from your class. They're studying the same content and facing the same deadline, so they're natural allies.

Go through the exam content before you attend one of these sessions. This way, you'll be prepared to exchange ideas and contribute to the learning experience, rather than just being a passive receiver. Teaching others is an effective studying method, as it helps you to process the information and relay it in an understandable way.

Watch videos to understand

The internet can be both a distracting and productive place: it's all about what you use it for! YouTube offers a wealth of resources to help you understand exam content, be it for math, biology, chemistry, history, or any other course.

Khan Academy is another great resource. A professional educator works through the content with you across a series of videos, providing examples and detailed explanations of how they approach problems.

Many other online portals exist, chock full of educational material. Give them a try next time you need to study for a test — but even though it's all video, don't forget to take notes!

Choose your own environment

The environment you study in can affect how well you retain information, as well as your stress levels while you're at it.

Pick a spot you can devote only to studying. You'll train your brain to know that when you're in that spot, it's time to study and focus. Choosing a specific, clean, and organized place to study can help you remain focused and get more done than if you stay in your room. Some students prefer to study individually, in a closed space, while others work best in coffee shops or open spaces, where busy surroundings help motivate them. Experiment to find the right fit for you.

Regardless of your environment, it's important to learn what helps you feel most comfortable and provides the ideal space for you to concentrate.

Best of luck on your exams from all of us at Ontario Tech University!

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