Tips on How to Study for College Exams

Tips on How to Study for College Exam

The coursework and curriculum in college are a lot different in college than it is in high school. You don’t have as many grades and chances as you do in high school, and one bad exam can have a large impact on your grade in the class. The studying and preparation aspect for college coursework and exams has to be taken very seriously. You can pass a test or get a good grade in high school even if you don’t study a lot or prepare very well.

In college, the exams are much more difficult and have a lot of bigger effects on your overall grade. It can take a while to understand and figure out how to prepare for exams in college. You need to start studying earlier than you usually would when you were in high school and most times you can’t really study the night before and be prepared enough.

It can be hard to change study habits especially since you might have been doing the same things your whole life when it comes to preparation. If you are worried about how to study now that you are in college, here are some tips and tricks to help you out.  Especially when it comes to the final exams of each semester, studying is so important.

A lot of final exams can be worth most of your overall grade. This means that the final exam grades have a huge impact on your grades for each class and your overall GPA. The studying that you do to prepare for all of your final exams is important and really makes a difference in how you will do at college.

Prepare Early

The biggest problem that most college students have is that they don’t start studying soon enough. It takes more than a night or two for your brain to actually retain the information that you need to remember. A lot of college exams are about the overall picture and message of the class.

You need to actually understand the material instead of just memorizing terms and things for an exam that you will forget right after you take the exam. Even if you are not studying for a super long time each day, it is good to start studying at least a week before the exam. This will help you to memorize and remember things better.

Especially if you have more than one exam coming up, starting early can really give you the time to comprehend and prepare for all of the materials you need to know.

That is one of the hardest things to manage when you have multiple exams coming up in classes that you know you personally need to prepare a lot for. The best thing that you can do when you are in a situation where you know you have an exam for a harder class coming up or you know you have several exams around the same time, is to prepare early.

Put in the Time

Studying for exams in college is going to take a lot more time than it did in high school. You should be prepared to study for hours on end. If you have finals coming up in multiple different classes, you could be studying six to eight hours a day. This is the amount of time that it is going to take for you to be prepared enough for each exam. Each class that you take is going to be worth a certain number of credits through your university.

It is said that two to three hours a week of homework and studying should be spent for each credit hour taken. Most classes are around three credit hours. This means if you are taking sixteen credit hours, then you should be studying and working on schoolwork for around thirty-two to forty-eight hours a week.

It should feel like a full-time job.

This is why it is so different than high school. You could go a while in high school without actually putting in a lot of effort and still get good grades. You have to put the time and work in when you are taking college classes, or you aren’t going to have good outcomes.


Something that is very important to understand when you are taking college classes is that you need to prioritize. You need to figure out which classes are harder than others. You need to figure out which classes you need to focus on the most in order to get the grade you need. There is so much going on in college and you might not have as much time you would like for all of your classes. There are simply just going to be some classes that require more work and time than others.

If you spend 24/7 hours a day doing work you are going to burn out, but if you prioritize and figure out how much time you need to spend on each class, everything will work out. This can also depend on which classes you are stronger in.

If you are better than others in a class and it comes easier to you, you might want to put more focus on the other classes so that you can keep the grades you need in everything.

If there is a class that you are really struggling with, you might even have to spend more time on it than other people taking it and then you had anticipated to. It all depends on what you are good at, and how much studying you personally need to succeed.

Everyone is good at different things and needs to study and try different amounts for different classes. Also, helping other people study and explaining things to others can actually help you understand things better. So this means that studying and tutoring others can actually help you do better on your exams.

Tips on taking notes in college

Don’t Wait Until Finals Season to Learn Some of Your Courses

Another problem that many students run into is that they start losing focus and trying towards the need of the semester and then they have to learn a ton of new information for the final. This can be so hurtful to your grade.

When you already have multiple finals and you are trying to learn the information you should have already known, you most likely will not receive the grades that you are hoping to have.

It is hard to keep focus and determination throughout the semester, but it really makes a difference when it comes to finals season.

If you have been slacking in multiple classes, finals season can become very rough because you are ultimately learning a bunch of new information directly before the final. Studying for the final is supposed to be a complete review and touch upon the topics that you aren’t good at. It helps that you have seen all of this information before. Because of this, if you’re learning new information during this time, odds are that you will not do as well on the new topics on the exam because your brain will already be on overload.

Go to Class During the Semester

Sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to actually go to all of your classes when you know that some classes don’t require attendance. This is a tricky situation because you do want to prioritize your time and studying.

However, going to class actually helps memorization a lot. Simply just going to class and listening to what your professor has to say can make studying a lot easier. The reason is that you have already at least heard some of this before.

If you go to study and you haven’t even read or heard anything about this information, it can be more difficult for you to understand the material and memorize it in a short time.

Basically, you just want to try your hardest to go to class and pay attention so that you don’t have to work as hard during finals. You don’t want to be too overwhelmed. Trying hard throughout the entire semester really does pay off.


Overall there are so many different things that you can do to prepare and study for college exams. It really is a different academic environment that may take a little bit of time to understand. As long as you try your hardest and out the time and effort in, you should receive the grades that you deserve.

It is just important to understand that this is a lot different than high school and you can’t just get a good grade without trying. It might be a wakeup call for you if you have never really had to study for anything before.

Go to class, spend time on your homework, and prepare for your big projects and exams early. All you can do is try your best in the end. Do what you need to do to get your degree because it will be worth it in the end.

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