First: There is no one method that is best for everyone. However, there is one thing you can do that improves your odds and that is to study on a regular basis throughout the semester. The data shown to the right makes it clear that students who do this are far more likely to do better on exams. Part of the reason is that you do not remember material as well when you are stressed and also tend to forget what you do know, which is what happens when you cram. This explains why you do badly on an exam and then remember the material later, the stress interferes with your recall.
Second: try as many different study habits as possible, and see which seem to work for you. Some specific things you might try, singly or in combination:
- Be prepared to invest time: you should spend as much time studying as you do in class.
- Work with two or three other students, not necessarily your best friends.
- Read the textbook and other sources of information.
- Quiz yourself and others students about the material.
- Visit your instructor during office hours and ask for assistance.
- Write everything out several times.
- Read your notes out loud to yourself.
- Keep your notes on one side of the page and make additional notes from the textbook on the other.
Third: Check out advice from other sources.
The Advising Center