How to study efficiently for an exam in 6 steps


Are you putting in hours and hours of studying, but you are not getting any results? That’s maybe because you did not organize your study time and method efficiently. Efficient studying methods can reduce the hours you invest in the study sessions and could get you better grades in the long term. Find out what are the most efficient techniques to efficiently study for an exam:

1. Clean up your study space

A clear space means a clear head. Organize and declutter your desk, make sure you have enough space for your notebooks and devices. Take care of the light and make sure you have plenty of it. Light plays a big role in your study efficiency, because it increases serotonin production in your brain and therefore, can lift your mood and energy. Don’t forget to have a bottle of water and some healthy snacks beside you, such as nuts, dry fruits, or black chocolate.

2. Make a study and schedule plan

Having a clear and well-structured plan can help you divide your subjects. Schedule the materials in chronological order or into chapters. Once you’ve done that, start following the plan and stick to it. Don’t forget to set realistic goals in case of a difficult subject by taking enough time for studying it.


3. Find out the study type that works for you and use it

Try to determine which learner type you are and act on it. If you are the visual type, create charts and diagrams which can be extremely helpful when revising your material. If the auditory type suits you the most, try recording yourself and listen to the chapters based on a schedule throughout the day. Talking to a group or to your peers and asking them to address questions on the subject can also be a great help for the auditory type.

4. Don’t forget to take it easy and take study breaks

Student life can be really stressful, you might feel overwhelmed by deadlines, projects, and exams. Don’t forget to take it easy and take a break from time to time. Listen to some motivational music, take a short walk to ease your mind, or simply watch your favorite series. For having better results and reaching your goals, a break is always your best friend which can take your worries away – at least for the moment.

5. Study in intervals

You can try to study smarter and divide your study sessions into intervals by using the Pomodoro technique. This is a widely-known time management technique that allows you to be more efficient.  Simply divide your time into 25 minutes by using a free online Pomodoro timer or your phone and take shorter breaks.

6. Focus on the journey, not on the outcome

Instead of setting performance goals, try setting learning goals. Students that aim to be perfectionists tend to excessively worry and set unrealistic goals. Try to focus on the overall process, instead of your exam outcome. Focus on your reading, summarize the subject with bullet points, and try to make logical connections by using symbols, charts, and diagrams. Read some motivational quotes, put on some background music, and just start! Remember, this won’t be your last exam, so don’t beat yourself up and most importantly: don’t think about quitting! Ever!

When you’re struggling to see how to make yourself learn, the important thing is to have your long-term purpose in mind. Some students still find the means to get their destination before them: whether it’s on a note, on the first page of a notebook, or even the screensaver on your laptop or phone!



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