How to Study for Exams

December 5, 2020joelleva

The hardest part about studying for an exam is knowing where to start. In this article we will discuss six of the most important steps when preparing for your exam.

Don’t cram

If you want to do well on your exam, start studying a few weeks before your exam. This will not only give you more time to prepare but will also make sure you are not so stressed on the day of your exam. Studies have shown that cramming causes you to lose 80% of all that you have studied (League, 2018). Having a plan for what you are going to study and by when will keep you on track and ensure you get the best result in your exam.

Write a summary

Writing a summary of the major topics allows you to categorise information and make sense of the course. If you are allowed a sheet of notes on the exam it may also help you decide what to put on it. As part of your exam preparation you can read these notes before bed and first thing in the morning to help you remember them.

Use mnemonics

Mnemonics are a great way to remember a lot of information. A mnemonic is a word or phrase that uses the first letter of the things you need to remember; an example is “my very educated mother just served us nine pizzas” for remembering the order of the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

Create flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to study for exams for two reasons: firstly, you have to write them and secondly you get to use them. Flashcards making memorising topics fun and can be a great way for you and your peers to study together. There are many online sites where you can create flashcards; my favourite is Quizlet. This site not only allows you to create flashcards but also gives you fun and interactive games to help you study.

Try explaining it to someone

If you think you understand the topic, try explaining it to a sibling, friend or parent who has no idea about it. If they can understand your explanation there is a good chance that you know what you’re talking about.

Ask friends/peers to create questions for you

Studying with your peers is not only fun but can be very beneficial. They can help you find mistakes in your learning and test your knowledge. Before your exam try writing some sample questions for your friends and get them to write some for you. This will make sure there is no topic that you have missed.


League, L. (2018, October 3). Why Cramming Fails and Study Plans Succeed. Retrieved from QPractice:


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