How to prepare for your exams like a pro?

28 March, 2019
  • 5 min read
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With the exam weeks around the corner, it is time to start thinking of the best ways to prepare and study in order to pass those exams! In this article you will find a number of best practices to ensure a successful and less stressful exam preparation period!

Start early
Starting early with your exam preparation is key. Not only will you have enough time to go through all the materials whilst avoiding that notorious last-minute panic, but you can also plan your study sessions into smaller, manageable chunks, rather than cramming everything into a few exhausting study days.

Create a checklist
Create a checklist of what you have to learn for your exams, and tick topics off once you feel confident with them. Not only will you feel a sense of satisfaction ticking off that checklist, but doing so will allow you to stay better on track of what you still need to focus on. I suggest going through the learning goals for each subject, as the exam questions will be based on them. Afterwards, you can review whether you’ve really mastered each learning goal.

Plan a study schedule
After creating your checklist, open your calendar and actually plan when and what you will study to really stay on track of your progress.

Try out a combination of study methods and find what works best for you
Flashcards, visualisation, writing your own summaries and going through topics with your friends are a few of my suggestions you could give a try. Everybody is different, so the same study methods will not work for everyone. Therefore, it is vital to realise what works best for you, in order to get through the exam period.

Perhaps you are a visual person and creating mind maps is the best way for you to memorise. Alternatively, reading books out loud could be the way to go for you! Learning what works best for you early on, will save you a lot of time in the future.

Make sure you understand rather than memorise by heart
Understanding the topics properly will help you avoid the panic during the exam when you cannot remember the exact definition from the book. If you struggle with understanding the topic by just reading the book or PowerPoint slides, check with your fellow students or watch YouTube videos about the topic – you can find almost anything explained in a simple manner there!

Take time off
Doing things that you enjoy and taking your mind off studying for a while, will help you to relax and gives you more energy to focus during your studying sessions. Therefore, make sure you also have time to unwind and relax! I personally believe that taking an evening off the day before the exam is helpful in performing well during exams. If you feel well-rested, you are more likely to remember what you have learned, rather than if you have studied late into the AMs.

Mindset is key!
Your mindset plays a major role in how you perform in exams! Going to the exam with the expectation of failing will affect your performance negatively and might make you forget things that you actually know. If you try to stay positive and relaxed, focusing on you nailing the exam, you are more likely to indeed do so!

Hopefully these tips will help you in successfully preparing for and acing those exams! Good luck!

About the author

Ella Taivalsaari

Ella Taivalsaari is a Phase III student at Hotelschool The Hague. At our Amsterdam Campus, she represents the Finnish nationality. She loves photography, editing, and all the things creative and she probably spends too much time nerding over Instagram and coding her own blog. After studying at Hotelschool The Hague, Ella hopes to start her career in Social Media Marketing. She attempts to learn how to adult, so stay tuned for her best tips and tricks on our HTH Blog.

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