What is the most effective method of studying for examsI am a year nine student, facing my first exams in a couple of weeks. I don't know what to expect. I am good at school so there is a lot of...

What is the most effective method of studying for exams

I am a year nine student, facing my first exams in a couple of weeks. I don't know what to expect. I am good at school so there is a lot of pressure on me to do well. how long should i study a night?

what are some really good methods of studying. If anyone has any advice or experiences, please share.

I've heard of mindmaps, flash cards, using lots of colour or reading over.

what have you found most effective? For yourself or what you recommend to students?

Thank you (:

Expert Answers
wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
You will want some way to quiz yourself so you can see what you already know and what you still need to study. Some people accomplish this with flash cards. This works well for vocabulary and simple concepts. Once you consistently get a flash card right, put it in a separate stack. Keep studying your cards until you know all the material. Another way to quiz yourself is to have a parent or study partner draw questions from your notes. You might also try color coding your notes or generating your own study guide. I would not recommend re-reading. I recommend trying several different strategies. For instance, you might want to make some flash cards as well as review your notes with a highlighter for the same subject. Each study method will work a different area of your mind and memory so don't limit yourself to just one technique.
ms-einstein eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, believe in yourself. If you study, you will do well.

Here are a few tips I give my students.

1. Make an outline or study guide of your reading or lecture materials.

2. Read the outline at least 7 times. A research study showed that students who prepared an outline and read them at least 7 times obtained much higher scores than peers who read their notes less than 7 times.

3. Make flashcards as my colleague suggested. As you use them, take the ones you answer correctly and put them at the end of the stack. Those you get wrong put in the middle of the stack. That way you are studying what you don't know more frequently.

4. Ask your teacher what he or she recommends. Perhaps it will help.

Best of luck!

pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You have lots of excellent suggestions here. Another I would add is to ask yourself what you would ask if you had to write the exam rather than take it. Consider what the "big ideas" are, and make sure that you could answer questions on those.

You might also do a web search for your class textbooks by title and author. Many textbook publishers have excellent websites with interactive tools like online quizzes and flashcards that you can use. As #2 said, you need to interact with the material rather than just staring at it.

Also, do remember to get up and stretch and get the blood moving every 20 minutes or so, and try to keep your regular bedtime. When you are over tired studying won't do much good.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For me, reading over is the least effective thing you can do.  What you need to do is to interact with your material -- do things with it rather than looking at it passively.  Making flashcards is a good idea.  So is rewriting your notes.  Also, you might try to think (in areas like history or literature or even science) about how your notes relate to one another.  In other words, instead of trying to memorize facts, think about what essays you might have to write that would incorporate those facts.  These types of strategies make you interact with the material instead of simply trying to passively absorb it.  Good luck!!

larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Perhaps you should make yourself an outline of the material that you have studied; and review the outline. You should pay special attention to any part of the material which is difficult for you. If you do not understand it, DO NOT ignore it, or move on. If you cannot make sense of it on your own, ask your teacher or another student whom you trust to help you understand it. After you have done this, review your outline at the pace that works best for you. There is no magic number or magic bullet. Once you understand (not just memorize) the material, you should do well on your exam.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Another strategy that can help with more active thinking about the material is to try and explain the facts or concepts to someone else. This other person could be a classmate who will be able to tell you if you are right or wrong in your "presentation" of the information, or a person outside the class who can stop you along the way and ask you to clarify what you are explaining, forcing you to be thorough in your presentation. If a parent is around, they could help.  So could an older sibling.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You should create a study plan for each subject.  If possible, try to find out exactly what is on the exams and the format of each one.  You study for multiple choice a lot differently than an essay, for example.  Then you should study a little for each class each day.  Study the night before only for the exams the next day, and don't stay up too late.  You need rest more than cramming!

taangerine | Student

Based on my experience, I would make a study schedule and follow through with it. What I have to study and what I have to do will be on the schedule. Reward myself whenever I finish a big section or complete the schedule. I would also try to use my online resources to help get information to study off of. Download apps that have the follow lesson plans so I can use them whenever I am not at home or have a little free time. Be consistent and don't give up! 

zumba96 | Student

Believe in yourself and know that you can do it. Set a time aside for yourself everyday to study and then review what you have learned every single day. Try to memorize what may be on the test and take practice tests as much as you can. 

saravalent | Student

Thank you every one for all your posts with ideas! They are great and will take them all on board.

I have been doing a little of my own research and found that if you read your notes out loud and record them in something like and Ipod, and listen to it as you fall asleep/sleep, then your subconscious absorbs all the information and you remember everything.

I have tried this two times and wasn't sure about the result. I already knew the topic really well, so I couldn't really tell if i knew it better. But is it possible that it did help and cemented the topic into my brain better? Does this even work?

Any more of your opinions/advice would be very appreciated!


Wiggin42 | Student

I found flashcard and reading to be most effective. Mind mapping was a waste of time for me, personally speaking. Some people like Cornell notes but others say normal note taking is fine. I always made sure to read the textbook and review material diligently.