Do’s and Don’ts of Studying for Exams

Exams are often considered the checkpoint in a student’s life. A mini-boss that allows them to measure how far they have progressed and how much they have learned. And just like the mini-boss battle in most games; you, the main character, can do certain steps to prepare for the battle beforehand.

Whether you grind tirelessly for more EXP (knowledge), or just waste away and place your future on the premise of luck, different students have different ways to prepare for these exams. Every student may have a unique strategy that may work for them but not for others. This makes studying for exams such a complex and intricate process.

However, even with all the individuality that flows out when students study and prepare for exams, there are still common grounds that must be met. These are called the dos and don’ts of studying for exams. This article will tackle and discuss these dos and don’ts in order to maximize your efficiency when studying.

The Do’s:

1. Plan ahead

Careful planning is an integral part of any strategy. This holds true when preparing for exams as well. Planning ahead allows an individual to manage their time properly, look for their weaknesses and find out how to improve in them, or simply to have a clear image of what needs to be done before the actual test.

This increases the efficiency by which an individual studies for the exams as they now have a clear path to follow that will guide them towards academic excellence. This also means that an individual can maximize the use of their time in order to get more done once the day is over.

2. Set a goal

Most individuals just study for the exams with the vague goal of passing the semester. And while this is not necessarily a negative thing, it could do any individual well to expound on such goals to motivate themselves. An example of expounding a goal would be to set the goal of getting 80% of the questions right during the exams.

Having a goal means that an individual will have something to work hard towards. This increases their motivation to study in order to reach that goal. Plus, the feeling an individual gets from successfully reaching that goal will create a positive loop of wanting to achieve more goals to feel even more accomplished.

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3. Follow the schedule

When an individual plans ahead on how to study for the exams, they may have included a schedule on what time they should study and what subjects to study. It is of utmost importance to follow the said schedule in order to not fall behind on the plan and not waste precious time.

Simply following the schedule can greatly increase the efficiency by which one studies and can even improve one’s discipline. Following a schedule also allows for more time to rest and recover from a whole day’s worth of fatigue which can really help to improve an individual’s overall performance in school.

4. Do practice tests

Practice tests or mock exams are a great way to replicate the conditions of the actual exams in order to expose an individual to similar levels of stress that the exams put on individuals. This allows them to get used to the pressure from answering a 50-question exam in under an hour and will make an individual feel a lot calmer once the actual exams begin.

This also helps measure the progress of a student with regard to studying. Practice exams also give insight on the topics, subjects, or types of questions that an individual is weak at.

5. Prioritizing subjects you are weak at

Speaking of subjects an individual is weak at, it is also a good idea to pay extra attention to these subjects when studying. This allows an individual to better understand the subject and the topics it includes in order to get better results on the said subject.

However, it should be a given that an individual should still divide their time properly for there to be enough time to study other subjects as well and not just focus on the one where they are weak at. After all, you only need to prioritize the subject you are weak at and not completely neglect the others you are already good at.

6. Give time to rest

Just like how one should give time to the subjects and topics they are not doing well in, it also pays to give time to take care of one’s self and rest. It can be difficult to fit in enough time to rest in one’s schedule especially during a busy event like when the exams are approaching. However, rest and one’s health should still be one of the top priorities.

Sleeping an adequate amount allows an individual to recover from the fatigue they have experienced the previous day and allows better brain functionality which can greatly improve the scores one gets during exams.

7. Stay positive

The last do that one should do when studying for the exams is to stay positive and view things positively. Motivation is more important than ever when an individual faces a stressful situation, and keeping your mindset positive is a great way to keep your motivation going.

It is alright to face difficulties when preparing for exams and such, just take a breather and relax for a bit. However, don’t let that bring you down and make you lose motivation for studying. Instead view it as a challenge set upon you in order for you to improve and progress into a better person. That is what it means to have a positive mindset.

The don’ts:

1. Not asking for help

Putting in the effort by yourself even when no one is looking is a great feat to have. However, when you want to maximize efficiency when studying for the exams, it can do you a great deal to ask for external help. Not asking for help is like playing a multiplayer game all by yourself, you miss out on any possible trades in ideas and take the burden all upon yourself.

There are a lot of individuals that can help you study for the exams. One such example would be your friends when you form a study group. Another example could be a tutor that will guide you through your academic difficulties. Oh, and if you are looking for a capable home tutor, then FamilyTutor is just the right place for you.

2. Procrastinating

Another big no when studying for exams is to procrastinate. Procrastinating has already been ingrained into the minds of students as they enter secondary school due to various reasons such as peer pressure, finding a hobby, or simply wanting to laze about.

However, one should fight the urge to procrastinate as much as possible if one wants to study for the exams effectively. Procrastinating brings nothing but a drop in efficiency and is not even profitable like how getting enough rest does. Plus, it can also lead to possible cramming once done on a regular basis.

3. Cramming

Cramming is the act of fitting in all the subjects one needs to study into a single night. Often called an all-nighter, it is the result of not following the schedule and putting off all that needs to be done to a later date. This is another big no when studying for the exams.

Cramming leaves little time for the brain to process all the information that has been stuffed into it. It also makes a person feel in a constant state of panic and stress which can seriously hamper their learning capabilities. Not to mention that cramming also takes time away from one’s precious sleeping time.

4. Overworking

Working hard is a great way to improve the results one will get for their exams. In fact, working hard, in general, is a trait that is desirable to have for any individual. However, working too hard and overworking one’s self is a whole other topic that should not be done when studying for exams. Overworking leads to fatigue buildup and may pose other health and mental issues that can damage an individual in the long run.

5. Blaming others

There can be times when it is tempting to place the blame on others for certain phenomenon that we do not wish to place ourselves in. There are students that tend to blame their teachers and educators for the poor grades they get during exams.

However, blaming others is never a viable option when studying for the exams. Instead of blaming other people for the difficulties one is experiencing when studying for the exams, why not try to view it as a challenge that you must overcome to improve as an individual. Plus, teachers aren’t actually there to spoon-feed the answers right into the students’ mouths. Instead, they are there to teach the students how to pick up a spoon and eat all by themselves.

6. Giving up

The final thing that one should not do once studying for the exams is to give up. Giving up brings nothing but regret to an individual and only hinders their progress and growth. Not only do you gain nothing, but you also lose the possibility to improve and become a better student. Running away and throwing everything down the drain is never the answer, so always make sure to never give up not only on your studies but on everything you want to do as well.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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