Top 4 Tips for Mastering Your Study Sessions


Exam season is approaching, and it’s time to hit the books. An effective studying structure will go a long way and help you establish healthy habits throughout the school year. Don’t lose sleep over your exams. Managing your time will help you get the best test results. Here are the top four tips on focusing when studying and organizing your study plans.

Prioritize What You Will Study

Most students take multiple classes per term consisting of many tests and exams, so it’s essential to start studying for the closest one first. Write down all your test and assignment dates in your calendar at the start of the semester. Always check on the status of dates and locations because they may be subject to change. This way, you can anticipate when it’s coming up.

Even if the exam date is further away, plan your studying days as soon as possible so you’re not overwhelming yourself with information or cramming closer to the date. Start as early as you can. Give yourself at least a week before the test to prepare your notes and plan study sessions if needed. Start studying even more than a week before your exam date if there’s a class you have lots of difficulty understanding.

Study what you know is guaranteed to be on the test first. After that, focus on the small details you are unsure of or struggle with most.

Understanding Concepts

There are many ways to make understanding test material easier. Each method will appeal to you based on your learning style (visual, reading/writing, kinesthetic, auditory, or a mixture). Flashcards are a great way to learn difficult material. It’s also handy for memorizing your exam’s concepts and formulas.

You can create digital ones or use pre-made flashcards online from websites like Quizlet. Physical flashcards are easy to carry around if you want to study on the go. It’s better to spend most of your time on concepts you don’t understand than on those you’re familiar with.

You may want to contact a tutor, classmate, TA, or your professor for extra support. Talking with another person helps you memorize better and feel confident relaying information, which will be useful for tests that require written answers. Also, take notes in all your classes, including discussions and readings. Color coding your notes will make studying less boring. You can organize topics, names, dates, and theories.

Try Different Techniques

Studying can be more effective and enjoyable when you play around with different techniques. However, the only way it can be effective is if you maintain the practice of studying for short periods. Studying for hours during the day won’t help you. Break down your day to set time aside to study for up to two hours a day per subject, with a break in between. Here are different study techniques you can try:

  1. Participate in a study group: This is great for learners who focus better with others around them. It allows you to study in a different environment other than home and helps you by discussing material with your friends.
  2. Do small quizzes every week:  Taking an exam is nerve-racking and stressful, so setting up a mock exam environment will ease your tension.
  3. Use focus techniques: The Pomodoro timing technique is a simple way to strengthen your knowledge and stay focused. Pomodoro consists of 25-minute stretches with a five-minute break in between each. You can also extend the time for a longer break.

Stop Studying

Tests and exams bring a lot of stress, and students don’t always take care of their mental health until after exams are over. Healthy habits will be even more beneficial during the studying process.

Sleeping is the most vital thing you can do during the exam season. If studying is taking rest away from you, then that’s a sign you should stop. Problem-solving, creative, and reasoning skills are strongest when you have properly slept. You’ll get better grades and feel less anxiety during tests. Try waking up earlier in the day to start studying rather than leaving it close to sleep time.

Avoid salty or sugary snacks and eat full meals, fruits and vegetables. It will support your mind and nourish your body. Also, try calming activities like meditation, yoga, or physical exercise to help you feel refreshed.


If you have a different way of studying, getting used to a new study routine might take some time. Don’t be afraid to try a different technique, and take time to ease into it. Balance is the key to coordination, efficiency, and achieving success.

Contributed by:
by Ziga Poromon, is Canada’s leading job board and online career resource for college and university students and recent graduates.

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