Student News

Students’ guide to effective study techniques

Carter Skaggs | UKphoto
Carter Skaggs | UKphoto

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2024) — In the flurry of final exam season, every student finds themselves navigating a mountain of textbooks, notes and study guides. However, with the right strategies up your sleeve, you'll be acing those exams like a pro.

We asked the University of Kentucky Transformative Learning tutors, housed in the Office for Student Success, for their personal study tips.

  • Make sure to get enough rest. “I always get 8 hours of sleep before my exam.” – Harrison, physics tutor
  • Meet with friends or classmates and review together. “Once I’ve reviewed on my own, I like to meet with friends from the class to review together. I will try reteaching what I have learned to someone else. This builds my confidence with the material.” – Roshika, MA 109 tutor
  • Try drawing diagrams or map out concepts. “I draw diagrams and map out concepts to try and link ideas to build my understanding.” Chloe, gen chem tutor
  • Don’t forget to take breaks. “When I get stuck, I take a lap around the library to clear my head. These little breaks allow me to study for longer over all.” – Kyle, calculus tutor
  • Start studying ahead of time. “I start studying for exams a week in advance and do active recall, like quizzing myself, for at least an hour a day during the week.  It really makes a difference, and I do not feel the need to cram!” – Hailey, gen chem tutor
  • Write out everything you need to review. “I like making a big document and writing out all the learning outcomes/concepts from a study guide. I also color code topics I need to spend more time reviewing.” – Shannon, gen chem tutor
  • Set a routine. “My phone has a routines mode so I set it in study and it allows only certain apps to be used. This helps me minimize distractions.” – Matthew, MA 109 tutor
  • Stay organized. “I like to organize everything into topics, rewrite some important notes on those topics, and then do practice problems that cover those topics.  I also like to change what I’m studying every hour or two, be it topic of subject.”  – Andrew, Physics tutor
  • Rewrite your notes. “I rewrite my notes. I always find that creating notes with the power of hindsight allows me to better make connections between all the things I learned in a particular unit. I also highlight my next steps so I can see what I remembered and what I’d forgotten about.” – Nick, calculus tutor
  • Utilize practice exams and questions. “I like going through practice exams/questions and writing out why the correct answer is what it is. This helps me learn the material again instead of saying ‘Oh yeah, I would’ve gotten that on the exam.” – Nick, MA 123 tutor

Need further assistance with finals prep? Find more resources here.

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