It's that time! Time to buckle down and really get ready for these exams. All month I've been talking about finals, and they're nearly here now. When you're cramming all of the studying you can in at the end of the semester, a guide to help you process your thoughts, key points, and questions will really make your day.
Knowing how to create an amazing study guide can really be the difference between pass and fail when it comes to preparing for an upcoming test. The first part before creating a study guide is about reading over your texts, notes, and reviewing old exams. You want to make sure that you are familiar enough with all of the current and past materials-- this so you can really dive head first into creating an extensive guide that will help you capture your thought process. Once you've done those steps, you'll be ready to create a study guide.
Pick a study guide format.What kind of learner are you? If you like to really visualize your information start by creating a web with lots of images and colors that can really guide your thinking process and organize your notes with images and icons that you will remember. If you like to think more linearly then try creating a tradition study guide with roman numeral, alphabetical, or chronologically ordering. Some people have more sporadic minds, while other like to learn all of the information in a particular section then move onto the next. No matter how you think, make sure you have a study guide that flows well with your needs.
Ask your professor.Your professor is like the last person you want to talk to since they're the one giving you this awful exam! I understand you have a grudge on her, but trust me--she creates the test, so she's the one you need to talk to. In my experience, the prof is usually super nice and wants to help you pass!! Ask them question like, "What's going to be covered on the exam?" or "Do I need to know the stuff that I was already tested over from the midterm?" I guarantee it will be worth your time, and your study guide will be more in line with the things you will actually need to know for your final.
Focus on the main concepts.Typically, each chapter in a textbook has a beginning section where it outlines the key concepts and definitions. Make sure these terms are in your study guide! My suggestion would be to start by making note of these concepts and then expand from there--figure out what other information from the chapter helps you understand those concepts and begin creating a study guide that builds off of itself. As I go over the key terms in my book, I take a glance at my notes from that day too, and I see if we talked about anything in class that might help me understand everything just a little bit more.
Take more notes.So, now that you're done with your study guide, go back and take more notes on it throughout the next week. As you study, you might find that your guide needs a little bit more explaining in one section or another. Leaving room for more notes is especially key if your lecture class has a review session right before the exam. Take your study guide along with you and make doubly sure to clarify the topics that you might have been a little foggy on with even more notes!
One bonus tip that you might want to keep in mind is to save all of your study guides. If you're in a beginning class now, that study guide might come in handy again when you take a more advanced class in the future. Also, even if you don't use the guide, you might like to save it on your computer as a future formatting reference.
If you have another tip please let me know in the comment section below! Or if you found these tips helpful feel free to share this post with your friends!!