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When Do You Usually Start Studying For Exams/Midterms

Old 07-08-2010 at 09:24 AM   #1
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When Do You Usually Start Studying For Exams/Midterms
Im looking to improve on my time management skills this upcoming year. The biggest problem I have is leaving studying for exams and midterms to the very last minute. Its not even procrastinating, I just end up leaving very little time for each exam.

How do you set up a schedule for studying for exams, and how many days do you allocate per exam?

Old 07-08-2010 at 10:20 AM   #2
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I think it depends on the class/ your schedule. I was pretty lucky that my exams were fairly spaced I think I allocated about a week for each. With midterms, I probably study a bit every day for a week and a half(obviously more in the days prior). But think of it this way, if you study more effectively for midterms, studying for the finals is that much easier, because you really only need to fully learn the last chunk of the class, and refresh with the earlier material.

When you have 4 exams in 5 days, or something crazy, I think you're going to have to start studying WAY in advanced, 2+ weeks. Make sure you get the fundamentals down for those classes, because you'll only have a day between them to refresh yourself.

Make schedules!! I think I have a touch of OCD, but I always make a quick calendar in word or use my planner and write down the things I want to accomplish each day (ie. monday: review past exams. tuesday: read chapter 1 and 2, etc). That's especially important when you have more than one thing..

Also, try to only do an hour of each subject (because that's when you really start to lose focus, if not sooner). take a 15 minute break, and then tackle a new subject.
Old 07-08-2010 at 10:30 AM   #3
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I just study 2-3 days before for each
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Old 07-08-2010 at 10:35 AM   #4
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I generally try to give myself at least 3 days of solid study per exam. Again, this can be difficult depending on your schedule- if everything is at least 3 days apart, awesome. However if you have 5 consecutive exams, it can mean you'll need to start studying about 2 weeks in advance (something that's very hard to motivate yourself for).

Of course, I usually waste a lot of time- if you're the type who can get to work quickly and stay focused you can definitely use less.

This year I'm going to try to use Google Calendar to help plan out my studying, but in the past I've usually just jotted down a schedule on some scrap paper. Maybe that's why its usually been less than effective at keeping me on track...
Old 07-08-2010 at 10:44 AM   #5
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Usually I study 1-2 days before an exam or midterm. I really need to start managing my time better in September. I tend to leave everything to the last minute as well.
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Old 07-08-2010 at 12:25 PM   #6
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Its kind of a pain studying for midterms when you have labs/assignments/tutorials/lectures/etc to attend...
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Old 07-08-2010 at 01:01 PM   #7
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Basically a week in advance. At least. If it's a final, then 2 weeks.

You might be thinking: "Why Jefferson, that is such an extreme amount of time to allocate for the sole purpose of studying for an exam."

My answer is: "Yes. But on the other hand, I'm a nerd with no social life and don't really have anything better to do. "
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Old 07-08-2010 at 01:13 PM   #8
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Usually 3-4 days before a midterm. For exams its a different story. I study for the first one maybe a week in advance little by little and maybe sometimes even study for the one after aswell. Then for the rest of the courses I study them in those breaks that I have in b/w exams. Most of the time my exam shedule is really spread out from the first day of exams to the very last day of exams so I got mayb 2-3 days inbetween exams sometimes less. So I study in b/w those breaks for whatever course is coming up next.
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Old 07-08-2010 at 01:55 PM   #9
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Depends on the which course it is, the difficulty of the course, how much the midterm is worth..etc.
But usually a week before. If its a course though that I know, 100%, that I can leave and still pull a good mark.. then i'll leave 1-2 days for it. But that rarely happens. And yeah 2 weeks for exams. You gotta make sure you USE your time well too..and i like designating times for when i'm going to study, and what topics i want to cover. I also prefer studying in short study for an hour, then take a 10 min break..then another hour..etc. but everyone's different some people can actually sit and study for 2-3 hours.. I prefer taking a short facebook / walk / coffee break or something or my head starts to hurt lol. Keeping organized helps too. I have a big white board in my room that I made into a chart. For every course, I have "readings, labs/assingments, tests, exams" which i fill in accordingly. It helps to have a visual just to see where you're at with everything.
Old 07-08-2010 at 03:29 PM   #10
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My answer should be: I review my notes throughout the semester and by the time midterms and finals roll around, I'm already confident with the material to only study for a couple of days.

However, I'm not that perfect (yet), I usually study a week in advance for midterms (which includes a lot of re-writing notes, condensing notes, memorizing, trying to understand all the concepts, etc etc.) Finals, I'd say 2-3 weeks for those, but more depending on the class. I try to allocate more time to classes where I know the exam will be more challenging.

But you have to do a lot more than this, i.e. going to class regularly and keeping up with notes... it doesn't take as much effort as doing all-nighters for an entire week, it's more of just a discipline thing.

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Old 07-08-2010 at 04:16 PM   #11
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It depends on my workload and exam schedule. I'm in Soc Sci so I always have tons of papers due at the end of the term, so that only leaves me a little bit of time to study while still in school. Then I study pretty much every single day of the "exam period".

If I have a bunch of exams at the beginning of the exam period, I start studying a few weeks before. Otherwise, if they are spaced out, I only study a bit during school and don't really start studying until school ends. I always make sure to get 3 or 4 FULL days (meaning 8am to 5pm) of studying for every single class. Then I fit in more studying whenever I can.
Old 07-08-2010 at 04:42 PM   #12
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For a midterm, I usually study 2-3 hours a day 2-3 days before and about half the day the day before. There are some courses that I only study the day before.

For an exam is depends on my exam schedule, but it's generally half to full days 2-3 days before.
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Old 07-08-2010 at 05:04 PM   #13
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1-2 days of hard studying. Maybe less if I have 3-4 midterms that same week.

This is with going to class and lightly reviewing material ahead of time.

Old 07-09-2010 at 10:54 PM   #14
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When Dr Day (the Psych prof) was an undergrad, one of his instructors told him to take notes during class, and re-write them afterward since it facilitates remembering. I did that the last two years, and found it helped me a lot.

At the end of every week, I would spend a day on the weekend re-writing all of my notes for the week as well as filling in any gaps I missed in lectures and/or emailing the prof for clarification.
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Old 07-09-2010 at 11:24 PM   #15
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It depends on the subject: I usually work to play to my strengths/wants.

I.e. I want to do well in Chemistry regardless of what I do in any other course, so I tend to study for the Chem finals 2 to 3 weeks before. I think I studied for the Chem 1A03 exam a month before and kept drilling it in. That exam went nicely.
For the midterms, I studied a solid week but...I found it wasn't useful because I wasn't studying the right way. I spent a lot of time on problems and rewriting/rereading instead of understanding the concepts. I never did practice exams for my best midterms; I find that doing problems is redundant if you can get things to sink in. Ken Sills really drove that in with Physics 1B03 this spring which helped me in how I studied for that course. "It should be natural" was pretty much the gist I got from him and that's how I knew things were making sense.

1 or 1 page double sided summary sheets for hardcore topics help a lot. I did that in high school and for the exams I did that for in university, it worked very nicely as well. If you can extract the most val. information and compile it together into a page, you know you're on the right track.

Other depends. I wanted to work hard for Economics but I wasn't really that passionate about it. I didn't put in the effort I should have and was surprised that my grades weren't lower.r

English (at least in high school) was more intuitive for me, so I studied less for it. I work hard at it when I do the work but I study less because there's less need and I am more at ease with that stuff than I am with Chemistry for some reason.

For things like Math, I should have studied a month before because my Math skills are very very bad and I need a lot of problems to see the underlying concepts.

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