Exams are coming up and you feel like you’re drowning because you’re studying so much, but are you studying efficiently? That’s the key, studying smart. Yes, you can even apply these tips in culinary schools. We’ve collected 12 surefire tips that you can follow to get the score you want and deserve on your upcoming exam(s).
Attend classes regularly
When you’re done laughing, keep reading. This is a no-brainer. Being an active learner means showing up to class, duh. Attend lectures regularly and be sure to participate when you can, this kind of interaction will help you to remember things and will keep you engaged, rather than day-dreaming or dying of boredom.
Keep up with reading
I have a lot of friends who hate assigned reading and I don’t blame them, it can really boring and long. But staying up to date with all the assigned reading is crucial to your overall success, you don’t want to cram in chapters upon chapters before a big exam, you need to break it down into parts along the way. And if you think if you can show to a lecture without having read the assigned pages, you’re so wrong, you will have no clue what’s going on and will have lost a valuable opportunity to actually understand the material at hand.
Set your goal
Sounds super easy, right? It is! If you read what the course overview is, understand what it will cover and how it will be scored – this simple act will dramatically help you. By identifying your goal and writing it down, you have defined what you want to achieve. By seeing your destination on paper, there is no second guessing what you need to understand to pass that class. So go ahead and apply for the summer study abroad programs.
Manage your time
Another easy one but seriously, proper time management will seriously help you to achieve more and stress out less. Start off by getting a diary or study planner or even an app to manage your time, especially one that shows the week at a glance or a month at a glance. This is vital because it shows the time you actually have available. Pen in dates assignments are due, exam/test/quiz dates coming up – mark this in advance in the calendar. Be sure to add social commitments, getting coffee with friends or going to games, having a social life is important too. Be sure that your social activities work around your study schedule and don’t get in the way. Make time work for you and not against you.
Identify your learning style
All right, we know, another easy one you’d think but there are so many students right now who are struggling to learn and digest information because they don’t know how they learn best. So take a learning style assessment test, this way you will find out if you’re more a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner. By taking this test, you will learn so much better and make better use of your time. Don’t worry if Tom studies like this or Emily does that, that may work for them but it doesn’t mean it works for you. Adapt your study method to suit your needs, your own natural way and this will make all the difference.
Develop a study plan
We know, this sounds boring but it’s important to map out how much time, for each course, you need to spend outside of the classroom. Why? So you can keep up and do well. By planning a study schedule, you stay in control of your own academic workload.
Develop effective note-taking techniques
Whip out the highlighters and different colored pens, folks! No, we’re serious. But first, it’s important to have numerous note-taking styles to help you record key information during a lecture so you can digest the information later on. Don’t write things down word for word, just listen to what the professor is saying, write down things you believe is important, or that the professor says is important to remember. Write down short and effective sentences, use bullet points, and structure the notes in way that makes sense to you. Then later when you go over your notes, highlight parts that are important or write over a certain part with a different color. This will jog your memory and will keep learning fun.
Create mind maps
Tony Buzan developed a neat little trick called a mind map, which is essentially a graphic organizer. The mind map helps you to summarize vital information that you learned in textbooks or in a lecture. In time, you will able to develop a mind map to help you review key sections of each course and to get a broad view of how each topic relates to another. Then, before an exam/test/quiz, see if you can reconstruct the map. Test yourself. See if you can recall key terms, factors, reasons and examples.
Surround yourself with learning
No really, immersing yourself in a 24 hour leaning environment is a fun way to retain information. (This is a great tool if you’re learning a new language or have vocabulary to remember.) Get lots of sticky notes, use different colors to attract your eye or use bright colored markers or pens. Be sure to add images, this will trigger your memory, plus it’s fun. Write whatever it is you need to understand and place this wherever you can every day, like your bathroom mirror, doors, TV, fridge, cabinets, or next to your bed. If you can, get a white board and dry erase markers and see if you reproduce the mind map.
Work with concentration
There is only so much time in a day for you to study, plus, you do want to have a social life. If you really study for one hour in a day, but really study, no distractions, it will make such a huge difference. It’s proven that “if you learn how to work with concentration, you will achieve more than 95% of the population.” That’s huge. So put away your phone, get that baby on silent or turn it off. Have snacks and drinks out already so you don’t have to get up. Turn the TV off, don’t play the radio, whatever it is that will distract you, make it disappear. This “little” skill will help you to do more in less time – it’s what all the cool overachievers do.
Listen to classical music
Numerous academic studies have recently studied the effects of studying and listening to classical music. The study showed that when you listen to classical music as you study, you’re benefiting the brain, sleep patterns, the immune system and stress levels. All of these are super helpful when you’ve got a big exam coming up or just need to a little boost to digest information. If you don’t want to search the radio for the station, there are a few apps available.