Getting Through Exams

Academic Guidance

Getting Through Exams


One of the most important skills to gain as an undergraduate is how to get through a stressful week of midterms or final exams. It was not unusual for me to have 4 - 5 important exams in one week, so efficient studying was essential. Not everyone studies effectively in the same way so it is important to figure out a study routine that works best for you.


Location is the key. Some people enjoy having the background noise of a café, while others prefer the silence of the library. I learned early on that neither of those options worked for me. I found the cafes too distracting and the library too stuffy, so I would try to find a quiet table in one of the departments or study in my bedroom.


I also studied more effectively on my own than in study groups. Although working with friends can be fun, I often found myself too distracted. Don’t feel pressure to study in a group if you know you will get more out of studying alone. During exam week, your time is very limited so it is critical to use your study-time effectively.


It is also important to be aware of the time of day when you study best. I am most focused in the mornings, but many people work best at night. Make sure to prioritize studying for when you are your sharpest. Also think about how you best absorb information. Some people love flash cards.  I hate them. I prefer to make lists and summary sheets to study from.


Find the location where you work your best and get into a study routine.  It is all about finding out what works best for you!