College exams can be a challenging time for anyone. Even the most well prepared student will run into a few hiccups. Researching ways to study can be a great first step. While some people will just sit down and hope for the best, you’re taking the time to prepare yourself and set yourself up to win. That is a great thing. As much as I’d like to give you a foolproof method of how to study for college exams that can’t be done for one obvious reason, everyone is different. What works for one person, might not work for another. There are, however, a number of common mistakes that can be built upon to create a great foundation for studying and picking your ideal method of study.

What is Your Go-To Study Method?

If you’ve studied anything in your life you’re probably pretty aware of how you study best. Do you need to be alone or do you work better in groups? Do you like to use flashcards or is it more effective for you to create a song to remember? If you don’t already know this then use this as a time to find out. Try everything you can think of to study the information. Don’t bombard yourself with one method. As you study quiz yourself to find out which method worked best for you. Once you figure that out, then use it throughout the whole study process. This can be done in a day or in an hour. The longer you give it, the more effective you can ensure your method is. If you’re low on time, you may have to rush through it to get started asap.

Study, Rest

After you know your method of studying you need to go through a three step process. Step one is to immerse yourself in the material using the method that you pick. Depending on the time available, you should spend at least a half hour on this first step. The next step is to rest. This may seem like a waste to the people who waited until the last minute but it really will increase your ability to relax and retain information. The rest period should last at least as long as you spend studying. This also makes the next step a more realistic testing experiences.

Then Test

The next thing you need to do is test yourself. Check how well you know the information that you just studied previously. Anything that you struggle in should be marked and put aside. Ideally you will be able to remember at least 50% of the material you learned during that period. That might seem low but it’s also after a long rest period, that means your brain is in a position that imitates the test a lot more. That allows you to know what is sticking really good and what could use some extra studying. Now take all of the information that you didn’t know and add it to the next information that you want to study.

All you have to do is repeat this process. Even the hardest of information will at some point stick. If you use this process then you will be ready for any college exam. One of the biggest hurdles most students have is that they worry a bit too much about the exam. If you spend all day stressed about an exam then you will not do as well as you could have done. I remember realizing this in college. The more I stressed, the longer my score was. Use this process to overcome your fear and be ready for anything the test throws at you.