Studying is an essential part of school and university life, and you don’t want to waste time using ineffective study methods. Make exam season easier by using study tips that will ensure that you take in all the information, understand it, and remember it in future. You’ll thank yourself when your grades start rolling in!

Notes for a Friend

When you’re making study notes, imagine that you’re preparing them for your best friend. This will help you craft clearer and more thorough information, so you don’t end up staring at a bunch of messy, cryptic bullet points the night before the exam.

The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique, sometimes referred to as “the tomato timer,” has been shown to improve exam performance. It involves setting a timer for 25 minutes of study, after which you take a five-minute break. After four sets of 25 minutes, you take a longer break. There’s even a tomato timer app available.

Review Every Morning

Spend half an hour every morning quickly reviewing the information you studied the day before. This will help you retain yesterday’s notes and let you pinpoint areas that you need to spend some extra time on. It also eases you into the day ahead and gets your brain ready for studying.

Block Distracting Websites

Limit your access to Facebook, Buzzfeed, or any of your other procrastination retreats before you start studying. Applications like Cold Turkey allow you to block websites of your choice for however long you choose.

Quick Post-It Notes

If you’re having trouble remembering specific information like dates, terminology, or equations, jot them down onto post-it notes and stick them up on your mirror or around your work space. The continuous exposure will help you remember the information.

Sleep Well

It can be tempting to pull an all-nighter if you’re falling behind, but a good night’s sleep is necessary for your concentration and memory faculties. Aim to get at least five hours sleep and give yourself a 20-minute nap during your lunch break if you’re burning the midnight oil for days at a time.

Make Paper Notes

The physical act of moving through individual pages of notes which you can highlight and doodle on will help you remember information better, so hand write your notes or print them off if you’re making them in Microsoft Word. Paper notes are more distinctive than pages of text on a screen, so your memory of them is clearer.

Describe It to a Child

Try explaining the information you’re learning as if you’re talking to a child, or someone completely unfamiliar with the topic. This will help you clarify what you know and what you’re struggling to understand. If you’ve got a little brother or sister, this is their time to shine, but even talking to yourself in a mirror will work.

Use these simple tips to maximize your study time and take some of the pressure off when exam season rolls around.

The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) is an honors organization, boasting 320 plus chapter nationwide, that recognizes high-achieving first-and second-year students. With its three pillars of scholarship, leadership, and service, NSCS is proud to provide career and graduate school connections, leadership and service experiences, practical and skills-based content, access to discounts and savings, and over a million dollars in scholarships, chapter funds and awards annually. To learn more about joining the NSCS honors society, visit us at