Two students sitting together, focused on their studies

How to prepare for exam season

Try not to let exams get the best of you. Exams test your knowledge to make sure you’re learning the things you need to enter the workforce after graduation. To help you prepare for the upcoming exam season, we’ve compiled a list of ideas and tips to help you succeed to the best of your abilities!

Create a study schedule

Develop a routine that works for you. Study during the time of day you’re most productive. Are you a morning person or a night-owl? Once you’ve identified what time best suits your personal schedule, plan what you want to accomplish during that period. Take a look at the chapters or topics your exam will be covering and set goals for your study period.

Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to studying. Cramming for hours right before your test can actually be counterproductive. Instead, create a study schedule and plan regular breaks for yourself, giving your brain and body a chance to refresh so you can approach your study material with energy and focus. Think of it this way, marathon runners don’t train the night before a marathon, they train in small increments leading up to a race.

Limit distractions

Find a location with minimal distractions to study. This could be your kitchen table, bedroom desk, a space on campus, or a coffee shop down the street. Think of a few places you feel comfortable studying at and rotate between them to give yourself a change of scenery when you need to stay focused. Our SGEI campuses have plenty of quiet locations for solo or group studying!

Distractions are inevitable. Keeping your mind on track can be as simple as setting down your phone, stepping away from friends, listening to music, or putting on noise-canceling headphones. Need some extra help focusing? Try downloading an app! Check out this list of distraction blocking apps you can download on your phone or computer. 

Organize a study group

Organizing a study group with your classmates can help you make new friends and make studying a bit more enjoyable. Study groups help you keep yourself and others accountable. Try quizzing each other, comparing notes from class, reviewing past exams, and explaining your answers to others to help you develop a deeper understanding of the course materials. 

Find what study method works for you

Studying doesn’t always have to be reading and re-reading a textbook or notes. Trying different study techniques can help you identify what works best for you. First, review the chapters and materials you have covered during class that you think you will be tested on. Think about what your instructor would want you to know and questions they might ask.

Once you’ve identified what content to study, try out some different study techniques! Quiz yourself with flashcards, write your own practice problems, or recite the information out loud. One interesting studying technique is color-coding your notes. Write down key points in red, highlight important information in yellow, and then organize different topics by different colors! Read more about the colour-coding technique and other study methods here.

Reward yourself

Developing good study habits is a lot of hard work! Treat yourself with breaks and rewards to keep yourself motivated. Eating healthy snacks, taking a walk outside, or catching an episode of your favorite TV show are great ways to keep you going. On exam day, treat yourself by splurging on your favorite specialty coffee or have your favorite dinner after your exam! Having something to look forward to after your exam can help you stay positive throughout the test day.

Develop a pre-exam routine

Get a good night’s rest the night before. Hours before your exam, make sure you have everything prepared so you aren’t scrambling before your test. Find out where your exam will be taking place, what materials you might need to bring, and plan for enough travel time. If you have time, do something you enjoy like going for a walk or grabbing coffee with friends. Take some time for yourself to calm your nerves before entering the exam room. If you’re experiencing pre-exam jitters, check out this guided meditation or contact our Mental Health Coordinator to help with your test anxiety.

Best of luck with your exams!

We wish you all the best in your upcoming exams! Are you an SGEI student looking for some extra help before your exams? Check out our education supports, free for students! SGEI provides all secondary and post-secondary students with free academic tutoring and has plenty of study spaces on campus for students to check out.