With the term slowly but surely reaching its end, the dreaded final exams are looming in the distance. But fear not! Here are a few tips that I’ve used to help me keep track and focused during exam season.

          1. Calendar

I’ve got to say that calendars have helped me a great deal in university. Having a visual of all the assignments, projects, tests and exams that are due in that month have helped me organize my time efficiently and effectively. So I can safely say that I love calendars.

Therefore, have (or make) a calendar that has all your exam dates and their times and rooms they’ll be in. Now you’ll have a visual marker to see how much time you have left until your exam(s), and can plan your study time accordingly.

          2. Time

Now that you have your calendar and can see how much time you have left to your exam(s), here are a few ways of managing that remaining time.

First is to take into account how many exams you have in total. In each exam’s course, count the number of lectures (or concepts) that have been taught. If you have notes, take a quick skim over them to assess the difficulty of each lecture and its importance. From this you can then divide up your time to put more emphasis on the lectures that were more important and also more difficult. The odds are that your professor is probably going to throw in a difficult concept question in the final exam.

Thus, you can probably put in 30-60 minutes of time into studying the easier lectures, 45-75 minutes for the medium difficulty lectures, and 1-2 hours for the more difficult lectures. However, these time ranges aren’t strict; the amount of time may vary depending on how much time you have left and the actual difficulty of the course you taking. In the end, it’s your judgement for how much time you should put for studying. Just remember that you have other courses to study for as well, and that you don’t want study burnout.

          3. Studying

If you’ve been making notes for your courses, good job!!! These will definitely come in handy when studying for exams. As a result, you now have two different types of study resources : lectures themselves and your notes (and not including your possible course textbook).

Using the time method above you can divide your time to cover all of these notes, but remember to take breaks. If you’re doing 1h study periods, be sure to take a 5 minute break, which is sufficient, or extend it to 15 minutes. However, don’t make it too long if you’re in your study time period.

While studying you can set goals for yourself. I want to finish Lecture 12 by 5pm. Keeping small goals will help you stay focused on your task.

One thing to mention, try mixing up your study content if you have multiple exams. Try not to study a single course in one day since you’ll tire yourself out and actually begin to forget things. By mixing up lectures from different courses you’ll be able to retain information better.

And another study tip: Minute School has a cool and helpful study planning feature! Within the app, you’ll be able to create a study plan with the course concepts that you want to be tested on. It is free to try out and helps you study through frequent review and practice questions.

          4. Stay Healthy

As obvious as it sounds, stay healthy and take care of yourself during the final exam period, or at least try to. That means drinking fluids, especially water, eat, and be well rested. Knowing how procrastination and stress works I know we’ll probably have to sacrifice some (or all) of these, but try to stay healthy as much as possible. Being sick during exams is the last thing you want to do, but there are many ways to improve your health if you are sick.

Now these are a few ways to stay organized when exam season is approaching and in full swing. Hope they help!

          5. Side Tip

Before your exam day, find the class that you’ll be writing it in. You could even arrive an hour or two earlier to look for the room. That way, you know where your exam is being held and also not worry about getting lost. The last thing you need is the stress of trying to find your exam room before the exam starts. This has saved me multiple times. 

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