Sitting for psychology exams can be stressful, but you do not have to panic for the test. Although you will not get any absolutely sure-shot solutions while studying for a psychology exam, you can make the most of your study time by following different strategies. You can follow these simple tips to ensure that you are prepared once the exam day arrives.
- Begin to study early
Preparation is important doing well in any test, and you can make the most of the available resources and time by beginning early. You will be capable of feeling better and handling the test in such a way, that you are least likely to suffer from test anxiety.
Do not wait for the night before the test to sit with your books. Establish a daily study schedule, from the first day of your class. You should plan to spend a minimum of 1 hour studying for every class hour. However, you should be ready to set more time aside once you delve deeper into your subject.
While developing a study schedule, it is essential to consider:
- Your strengths
- Your weaknesses
- Your subject-matter at hand
There can be specific subjects that you excel in, and you will need to focus your attention less on them, whereas you might struggle in other subjects. You should prepare a study schedule which lets you review all that is taught in the class and also helps you to spend additional time on the concepts that are especially tough.
- Listen attentively to lectures during Psychology class
Active listening is essential while studying in class. Class lectures are not times when you should think about other things and allow the instructor to speak on for nothing. Rather, you have to be an active listener and focus on his lectures.
Be an active participant in discussions and lectures on psychology. Before every class session, you have to go through the textbook material assigned to you and note down any questions that you might have. While listening to the lecture, you should take down quality notes that you can later refer to.
Do not worry about jotting down all that is being uttered by your instructor. Rather, you should attempt to outline:
- Important questions
- Major topics
- Special tips
You should also keep in mind that if the lecturer feels anything is quite important, he will write it down on the overhead slide or on the board. You should obviously write it down in your lecture notes. It is quite probable that the information will be needed in your upcoming psychology exam.
- Frequently review your class notes
Once you take down psychology lecture notes carefully, it is important to use them properly. If you have some time after class, sit with your notes and go over them. Other than the regular review time, you have to spend anhour every week to study your class notes more deeply. You should consider creating flash cards as well as practice various tests in order tomemorize psychological concepts and vocabulary terms.
- Create a Psychology Study Group
It is a good idea to study in small groups and give you some challenge. This will help you to review various important concepts as well as discuss important theories that you have picked up in class. You should ideally create a group consisting of around 3 – 5 people.
Try to meet with your group at least once every week to discuss assigned readings and material gathered from classroom lectures. However, even if you are not able to take part in a small study group, you can consider attending study sessions hosted by teaching assistant or classroom instructor.
- Take part in practice quizzes in psychology
Practice quizzes can help you a lot in determining the concepts that you can understand and the ones you still should work hard on. Other than creating quizzes of your own, you can frequently solve practice quizzes given at the end of each textbook chapter. You can also try the online option – that is looking for quizzes and tests on psychology on the web.
- Consider examples from the real world
While learning about various theories in psychology, you have to think about how such concepts can apply in real-life situations. You should consider instances from your own life or from the lives of people who are familiar to you. When you study in this manner, you can prepare for psychology exams that often need students to spot instances of various psychological principles.
- Review the study material in various ways
You have to use numerous strategies for studying. Do not let yourself get stuck in a rut while studying. Rather, you should challenge yourself to learn psychology in numerous ways and try experimenting with various study techniques. You can reinforce the studied material in your memory with the help of:
- Group discussions
- Practice exams
- Use Textbook Resources
You can find plenty of resources from your psychology textbooks, and use them for your study purposes. Many of the publishers also offer websites on textbook which come with varied study tools for students.
Discussion boards, practice tests and flashcards are a few tools which can be availed with textbooks. You should not ignore such wonderful resources. There are plenty of cases where class instructors draw a lot of questions straight from the test bank of the book publisher.
- Go through the toughest concepts first
Although it can seem easier and better to focus on the easiest subjects, it is usually better to concentrate first on the toughest concepts in order to prepare for an exam on psychology. When you study difficult material with a fresh mind, you can be assured of having the resources and mental energy to have complete focus on the material that you are learning.
However, you should remember to allow yourself some breaks regularly while studying. In case you are still grappling with a few concepts and struggling to understand them, try to get some time with your instructor by appointment in order to discuss the study material further.
- Study for a few hours every week
None of the techniques, hints and tips on studies can replace the key factor for success in psychology exams. Time! Study strategies happen to be important for keeping your attention focused and making the most of your study time. However, it is essential that you dedicate some hours every week to study for every individual class.
As a thumb rule, most universities suggest that psychology students need to spend a minimum of 2 hours to study at home for every hour that they spend studying in class.
Although such type of time allotment might appear to be intimidating, keep in mind that you can break up these hours all through the week. You can devote some hours in preparing a smart study schedule that lets you devote enough time to your own life as well as personal obligations such as family or even work.
Before starting each new class, you should sit down and draw a proper study plan that allows you to prepare for psychology tests with success. With a little planning, you can save a lot of stress before your exams.