In College

"Ultimate Guide to Acing All your Tests"

Hello everyone! In the spirit of starting the semester with the right foot, I decided to make a list of useful tips that helps me stay on top of my classes and actually Aced a couple of them.

I actually started classes two weeks ago and I had been so busy. We had two days with no classes because of snow (Thanks North Carolina) and spent all that time with my amazing boyfriend binge watching TV shows, eating M&Ms and ice cream... What a life! 

But Monday, a new week starts and all my professors are going crazy because of the classes we missed... it may be tough, but I hope it is not.
Find your Study Spot
When I was in high school, I used to study laying in my bed. For some reason, I never fell asleep. But studying in bed or the couch or in front of the TV will not cut it for college. After three semesters at NC State, I had found the places that let me be concentrate and which spots make me unproductive.

You just gotta find out what works for you. In my case, first semester I would go to bed early and go to the library at 1:00 am when there was no one there. Weird, I know... Next semester I loved studying at study rooms in the resident halls. And finally, last semester, the student center and the private rooms at the library were my spots.

Make a Playlist
You know when you are studying, got 3 lattes in, but you still feel tired and not motivated? That is exactly the signal that you need a kick-ass playlist. Even though many people swear by the Alpha waves for better studying and more concentration, I like studying to country. 

If music is not the kind of motivation you were looking for, check out my other motivation tips.

Create a Cheat Sheet
Have you ever been reading the book or doing a problem and something just make so much sense you are like "I need to remember this"? That is when the cheat sheet come in. I always study with a blank paper on the side. In this page, I will write down all the little details 

Do a looot of problems
Do you have one of those professors who assign optional homework problems? Great, this tip is for you. Even though you may think it is super annoying to do optional problems on top of all the hard work you are already putting in, it is worth it. This extra problems are that extra mile that will take you from a B, or even a C, to an A.

I like sitting with my book and do all the example problems in the chapter and then the homework and optional problems. Doing the example problems will guarantee you less time trying to figure out what the heck they are asking in the homework. At the same time, it will give you a better understanding on the small details covered in the chapter. Just make sure you are actually understanding what is going on, and you will get an amazing grade.

Pro tip: Go to office hours and ask your professor what problems are crucial for the understanding of the material. If you are feeling like it, even ask him if he will solve a couple of problems with you right there.

Start early
I am pretty sure I have already mentioned this in here, but here goes my best advice. Start studying two weeks before the test. This is my secret weapon in college. While many people start studying a few days before the test and others the night before, two weeks in advance will give you a heads up. 

Two weeks before the test, do all the reading and do all the problems. Write down specific questions and/or problems you are not sure about and go to office hours or get a tutor. The nicest thing about attending office hours early is 1) you will show the professor you care about the class and 2) you will not be waiting outside the office for looong time.

One week before the test. Now that you have all your questions solved, do a quick review of the material. Also, this is a good time to do practice tests, look up tests online, and even expand your knowledge by watching videos related to the test.

Get some rest
Following the timeline...
One day before the test. You had been studying for 13 days, now is not the time to pull an all-nighter or do a thousand problems. It is time to relax! I mean... You do not go out to run the night before a marathon. 

If you suffer from test anxiety, rest and sleep is a MUST!

Take a Break
There was no way I was going to finish this post without mentioning working out right? I like going to the gym in between study sessions. Working out will not only help to grow that booty, it will also help with stress.

Another break options are:
- Taking a walk
- Watching a movie
- Doing your nails
- Catch up with friends

All this will allow your mind to take a break and, once you sit down to study again, your mind will be fresh and you will memorize way faster. At the same time, you may see a problem you cannot solve from a new perspective, or even, understand a concept that did not make sense before.

Good luck on this semester!

Remember to pin it :)

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