By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Setting up a weekly study timetable is key for successful learning and high achievement on the semester tests and exams. Here are some tips for creating an effective study timetable:
- Schedule short study sessions throughout the day as they help with retention and deep learning. Try the Pomodoro technique. (see Study strategy 4 below for more details)
- Vary what you study on a single day to avoid boredom.
- Set realistic tasks as they are easier to achieve. This will give you a sense of achievement and enhance your motivation to learn.
- Include time for other commitments such as work, family, and gym time.
Here is a downloadable template for a study timetable.
Effective study strategies
Once you have a study timetable, the following top 6 tips will make your study more effective.
1. Get detailed exam information
Have a close look at these resources and seek more clarity about:
- the types of questions
- the content to be covered by the exam
- the structure and quality aspects of the expected answer
- the time allocated for each question
Complete chapter exercises and past exam questions related to the topics in the exam. Form a study group to discuss specific topics. Simply reading and highlighting texts may not be enough.
2. Keep your notes organised
- Comparison charts to compare concepts, models, or theories
- Mind-mapping to summarise a chapter, concept, or the relationship between some elements
- Flow charts to capture procedures and processes
- Numbered lists to help memorise components or characteristics related to a concept
3. Review and find patterns
Attend any exam review sessions as they provide invaluable information.
4. Boost your productivity
Boost your study productivity by managing your time efficiently. Try the Pomodoro technique. This technique simply uses a timer to break down your study sessions into short intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Watch this short video to learn more about this widely used technique. There are some Pomodoro apps that you could try out.
5. Look after yourself
Give yourself breaks and maintain your wellness, e.g., healthy diet, regular exercise, and enough night sleep. Check out the array of online wellbeing resources available at the University of Auckland.
6. Avoid distractions
The day before the exam
The way you spend the day and the night before the exam can impact your performance on the exam day. Here are important things to keep in mind.
- Get enough sleep! Deep sleep aids memory. Eat healthy food.
- Prepare your exam equipment, for example, pens, calculators, and ID card.
- Double check the exam venue, time, and duration, and plan to arrive early. Traffic jams could make you late for the exam.