Life must go on even if a full-blown pandemic is doing the rounds. And college exams are no exception.

This year you might be taking college exams which are open-book, open-internet, or in-person. Quite tension inducing. And in these pandemic times, you must be doubly worried about your state of health as well.

But what can you do? C’est la vie! Such is life!

The very least you can do for yourself is to be better prepared to give these exams.

Here are 13 sure-fire tips to keep in mind as you sit down to face college exams this eventful pandemic-filled year.

  1. Pay close attention in class

Nothing beats this piece of advice. No dollop of advice ever. Pay very, very close attention in class if you want to succeed at college.

Supplement with asking questions. Talk to the Teaching Assistant about any queries you may have. Schedule an appointment with the Professor if necessary.

But mostly try to clear your concepts once and for all while still in class.

If you’re taking classes online make sure you get some time away from screens just to keep the headaches at bay. Make sure you are clear on the new pattern of exams, if any.

  1. Make detailed notes

Scrawled notes? Haphazard organization of notes? Can’t find your revision material? You are making things worse for yourself by being disorganized. Think Marie Kondo. The same philosophy applies to your education.

Any quality study session has to have the material in perfect order so you can save time. Invest in good quality binders and folders to keep your notes in order.

Also, make detailed notes, not rough ones. Detailed notes right down to the meaning of words are essential because you never know what you might forget.

Better to have it written down than to be running around searching for answers later.

  1. Apply the Feynman technique

Use the Feynman technique of studying developed by famed American physicist Richard Feynman.

The technique advocates learning everything about a topic then simplifying things down to a child’s level of understanding.

Once you are done with that, you will know where the gaps in your learning lie. Time then to fill in those gaps.  Once a clear picture of the whole topic is formed in your mind, you are ready to take your college tests.

  1. Don’t cram the night before

You are not in high school anymore. College is not that easy, nor should it be. You have got to prepare a study schedule and stick to it.

Study in advance. Put in long sessions in the library and at your desk if you want to ace your exams. There is no better advice than this.

  1. When in doubt, ask

Even the teensiest of doubts calls for clarification. Do not worry about sounding dumb. If you need to ask someone a question, start with the TA. That is what they are there for.

Why? Because doubts about the subject matter might lead to the discovery of some new things.

You never know. So, ask, ask, ask!

  1. Take tests on each topic

There are plenty of sites online that have free exams on the topics you are studying. Go there and take some tests to gauge where you stand. You will feel better about your preparation once you do that.

  1. Keep a journal of all your doubts

This really helps. Every subject deserves its own little journal for you to jot down your ideas, queries, and thoughts on the subject. Be creative! Think hard! Jot down.

It will help you when you write your papers.

  1. Teach others

The best way to know if you have learnt something well is to try and teach someone else what you know.

Everyone has a unique perspective. Tapping into someone else’s perspective is useful because it presents the problem in a new light, in a manner you might have never even thought of.

Also, answering the questions of others helps you to evaluate how much you know.

  1. Start on term papers ahead of time

Want to score well? Focus on your assignments. You need to start your assignments ahead of time and submit papers well in advance.

Typically start your papers on the day it was assigned to you.

  1. Attend Review Sessions

This is a must because important topics are covered again during the review sessions.

Also, the pattern of the question paper might be discussed, so it is worth attending the review sessions.

  1. Make a timetable

You should make a separate study and college exam timetables for yourself. Preparation without a plan is no preparation after all.

Chart out your course for each course you take. Be it easy or hard, you will need a game plan to plan your study schedule.

Make sure to schedule extra time for the complicated topics. Keep time in hand to have two or three revisions. One revision is never enough. The more you revise, the more you likely you are to retain the information during the test.

  1. Go through the syllabi and highlight the essential topics

Before any revision of any kind, it is necessary you sit down to get a thorough understanding of the syllabi. If you don’t do this you are as good as lost. It is even more crucial for college exams.

Take a printout of the syllabi and in it use a color code to highlight those topics which are easy or hard or of medium difficulty. Then get to work!

This will help make for more efficient studying.   

  1. Pressed for time? Know what to skip

If you are really pressed for time, you should know what you can skip in your studying. It is not necessary to study every topic.

The topics you skip should either be the straightforward topics or the topics you are entirely confident about.

College exams are a stressful time for everyone. You should know this from the experience of so many other students before you. It isn’t easy to juggle both studying and life, but it needs to be done.

Make the most of your college life because these are the best years of your life.

Live life to the fullest and do your college exams to the best of your abilities!


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