Studying Tips & Tricks

Finals week can be very stressful here at SHA. Many courses have complex material and with final exams fast approaching, students need a plan to minimize exam anxiety and perform well.

Here are some tips and tricks for effective study methods:

  • Start early

Create an overview of the material you need to cover for each subject. This will help you decide how much time to set aside each day for each subject. You will want to organize your studying depending on the order of the exams and the difficulty of the courses. Be realistic with yourself about how long it will take to review the information and plan to start a few weeks before the exams.


  • Create a schedule and follow it

By planning out a schedule in advance, you’ll get a better idea of the amount of work ahead of you. Write it down on a planner or calendar and set alarms on your phone. Having a good plan will not only make sure you have enough time to cover the material, but it will also cut down on stress because you will have created your own steps on how to manage the necessary work.


  • Take breaks

Give yourself enough time to process the information and improve your concentration when you return to studying. The 45/15 (studying for 45 minutes and taking a break for 15 minutes) method may help if you are unsure about how long to study and feel overwhelmed by the prospect of hours of studying.


  • Ask questions

Your teachers are here to help you! Use each review class to your advantage and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember, other people may have the same questions or not even realize they are missing that information. You can also meet with teachers privately if there is something you don’t understand and need extra help.


  • Know the format of each exam

Study in a manner related to the format of each final. For example, if your teacher lets you write the essay question beforehand, I strongly recommend you do so. For math or science, practice problems to make sure you understand the concepts.


  • Limit phone time

I personally know how hard it is to put down your phone. Shutting it off when needed can help limit distractions. As tempting as it is, scrolling through social media can wait.


  • Quiz yourself

Have a parent or a friend quiz you on the material. It may help you remember the information you just memorized or help if you skipped over something crucial. Quizlet is another excellent resource that can help with anything you need to memorize.


  • Give yourself more time to study for your hardest classes

When you are studying, think about what you know will be on the test instead of starting from the very beginning of your notes and cramming everything in. Then move on to studying what will probably be on the final, then to what might be. That way if you run out of time, you’ll know the most important material.


  • Create a study group

Making plans with friends to review the material by comparing notes, study strategies, and hard-to-understand concepts. Try to make it more fun by teaching and quizzing each other.


  • Go to bed early

Although it can be tempting to pull an all-nighter and cram all the material at the last minute, it’s not the best idea. By doing this you won’t have enough time to process the information and you will stress yourself out. If you are overtired, you won’t think as clearly on the day of the exam.


  • Eat well and drink plenty of water

This one is self-explanatory. Eating well and drinking water can contribute to your mood and energy levels.


Note that everyone has their own ways of studying and not all these may work for you, these are just what best work for me.