- Don't cram: it is usually associated with lower academic achievement and higher stress. It also does not promote long term memory. Instead, keep a steady schedule of studying and take breaks to allow your brain to process what you have learned.
- Organize: keeping facts in logical patterns as you study makes retrieval easier when it comes time to answer test questions.
- Repeat: repetition increases learning and retention. Review your material at regular intervals, not just all at once. Flash cards are an excellent tool that allow you to review your material regularly in an organized manner.
- Vary your techniques: utilizing different learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) strengthens learning because the information is received in different ways. Try reading your notes, saying your notes, and copying your notes as you study.
- Follow a pattern: pre-read, make notes, review your notes, and self-test. These techniques have been found to not only increase learning, but also long-term retention of the material.
- Breathe: an estimated 15-20% of college students experience lower grades due to text anxiety. Instead of spending the 15 minutes before an exam to cram in information you will most likely forget, spend it mentally preparing for the exam. Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and tell yourself some encouraging words. You CAN do this!
Tips referenced from Study Without Stress: Mastering Medical Sciences by Eugenia G. Kelman and Kathleen C. Straker