How to Prepare for a Big Exam in College - Honestly Hannah

How to Prepare for a Big Exam in College

There's nothing more overwhelming than finding out that you have a test coming up and having absolutely no idea where to start. When it comes to studying in college, the hardest part for sure is just simply getting started. As I've been sort of overloaded with assignments and exams lately, I'm excited to share with you guys how I usually prepare for a big exam, from start to finish!

Make a study plan

The first thing I like to do is make a study plan and get my thoughts together. As I said, it's sometimes hard to know where to start, especially when you have a lot of material to cover. I start by just making a really, really simple study outline. 

I really do mean simple! As you can see in this image, I mapped out what I wanted to do each day of the week to study. I had a big exam on Thursday, so I made a point to start studying on Monday (although, depending on the material, sometimes it's better to start even a bit earlier than a few days before). 

Plan out times to study

One problem I used to have it this: I'd come up with a great study plan, but then I'd end up just throwing it away because I didn't manage my time properly. If you've been following me for awhile, you probably know that I'm obsessed with planners! You can read all about how I organize my planner here

It's actually super helpful for me to plan out certain times that I want to study, otherwise I won't always do it.

Make a Quizlet

Quizlet is truly a life saver for college students. For almost every test where there's terms involved, I head straight for Quizlet. They also have an app, so it's perfect if you're waiting for a class to start, or waiting to go into an appointment because you can just grab you phone and go through a few terms. 

Sometimes, if you're lucky, someone has already made a Quizlet for the exact subject (and maybe class!) that you're studying, so you should always do a quick search first, just in case.

Make physical flashcards with frequently missed terms

You can see which terms you've missed frequently on Quizlet, so it's a great idea to take these terms and transfer them onto physical flashcards. There's something about writing out definitions that tends to make them stick. 

Test yourself and test yourself again

Quizlet and physical flashcards are awesome options for testing yourself. It's really important to keep doing this rather than just staring at a textbook or staring at your notes. 

Study with a friend

This usually isn't the first thing I do because I find that I study better alone. A lot of people think studying in groups is really effective, and I don't disagree, but I do believe that you should reserve time to study by yourself.

That being said, studying with a friend is good because you can talk about the terms and ask them questions if you don't understand something. 

One of my friends and I always sit down with the study guide and go through the terms and discuss them to see what we really know. Talking about the terms out loud helps to drill them into your brain so you don't forget them when it comes time for the test!

Avoid distractions

While you're studying, try your best to avoid people/things that are going to distract you. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb, put in headphones if people keep talking to you, and shut off any extra noise (such as a TV). 

Get enough sleep

Particularly the night before the test, make sure to get the right amount of sleep! And do not...DO NOT pull all nighters. I've preached about this before, but all nighters are just ridiculous. I've survived college so far without pulling an all nighter and so have most people I know. 

If you manage your time effectively, you'll never have to pull an all nighter. It's much better to be well rested for the test than falling asleep at your desk because you only slept for an hour. 

How do you prepare for big exams in college?

Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on posts that you'd like to see in the near future! 



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