Studying is an essential part of preparing for your exams, and it doesn’t need to be daunting. Here are five study tips that will make preparing for an exam easier. Most of these might be common sense, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of them.

1. Be proactive. Studying for exams is much easier when you have organized materials to study from. Take notes, keep handouts, highlight or tab reading material, and stay organized during your classes and it will pay off when it comes time to study.

2. Put the phone down! Put your phone in another room, or at least out of sight, so you won’t be tempted to look at it and get distracted. You’ll retain more information when your studying is consistent and uninterrupted. Try an app like AppBlock that will prevent you from using certain apps during certain time periods (set to your specifications)

3. Create a study space that works for you. Do you need total silence? Instrumental music? Does white noise or a noisy background help? Does clutter distract you? Find a space where you’re able to concentrate. If you need a change of scenery from your room, consider a library or public space depending on the level of background noise you like.

4. Try to study at the same time every day so that it becomes routine. Take short, five minute breaks every thirty minutes; taking a break will help the pace of studying and not make it seem as daunting. Don’t think of it as studying for two hours every, but as studying for four, thirty minute periods every day.

5. Think critically about what you’re reading. Instead of trying to memorize every single thing, look for topics and themes that are repeated throughout the course. Pay attention to things that come up often; it’s important content that will inform many of the exam questions.

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