Earning an excellent grade on a psychology exam often requires massive amounts of reading, knowledge retention and interpretation of information. So it’s easy to understand why so many psychology students dread exams. Trying to read a dozen books the night before an exam is admirable, but hardly effective. A far better approach is to approach your psychology course (and your psychology exam) with a suitable game plan.
It’s no secret that superior academic performances are linked with good study habits. Some students also take extra classes with Superprof to boost their learning. However, many students find it difficult to invest much of their personal time into preparing for a test that isn’t on the horizon. If you are the type of person who tends to procrastinate, we’ve have laid out some awesome study tips to help you breeze through your next psychology exam.
1. Start Early
As mentioned earlier, many students make the mistake of only getting motivated to study when the date of an exam is looming large. Some may start to study a couple of days before the exam, while the most adventurous may decide to open a textbook the night before. If you do not enjoy studying, it’s crucial that you develop and implement a regular study schedule early. This will give you the time you need to build good study habits.
A habit is a behavior that is repeated regularly and requires little or no thought. Studying is more likely to become habitual if you do it in manageable chunks. Rather than spending five hours per day pouring over every detail from your textbook, you may get better results spending just one hour focusing on the main points. You can also reinforce this positive behavior by giving yourself a reward after each study session.
2. Listen, Take Notes, and Participate in Class
With the rise of technology, far fewer students are choosing to listen in class. Instead, they may use recording devices or rely on brief notes posted online. However, a number of studies show that active listening coupled with note taking can improve a student’s ability to store information in memory and retrieve that information upon demand. Students who actively participate in class usually feel more involved in the learning process and are more likely to ask for clarifications if a topic is unclear.
3. Review Your Notes Frequently
Repetition is the mother of retention. This means the more often you do something, the more likely you are to remember it. While you may have a set time for study, you can also take advantage of other opportunities that pop up during the day. For example, you can use your free time or even a few minutes from your lunch break to glance at a few points you jotted down in your notebook.
4. Join a Study Group
Lack of motivation is the number one reason students tend to wait until the last minute to study for a psychology exam. Overcoming this feeling may be hard to do on your own, but you can reach out to others for help. Being part of a study group can help you to break up the monotony of studying alone, fill gaps in your notes, and benefit from social support. You can also learn faster as you do not have to spend as much time figuring out difficult concepts by yourself.