How to ace those exams

First-year law student Terran Chambers studies in the law library at the University of Minnesota. (Sourced by: McClatchy-Tribune)
First-year law student Terran Chambers studies in the law library at the University of Minnesota. Blocking out time to study can significantly help your test scores. (Source: McClatchy-Tribune)

Well, Wildcats, we are five weeks into fall semester and classes are in full swing, which means midterms and unit exams are just around the corner.

One thing that has taken me the longest time to learn is how to study for tests. I never felt like I retained any of the knowledge and I always went into my tests anxious and afraid of the score I was going to get.

Here are a couple of tips I found to help me get that solid score I was hoping for.

Invest in some super glue:

Super glue? To study? What? Yes! Take some figurative super glue and glue your butt to a chair, block out some time to study and devote all your attention to what you are studying.

Disciplining yourself is a crucial part of effective studying. I suggest keeping a glass of water and a small snack, perhaps nuts or dried fruit, next to those extra pencils and that calculator.

Gather all your supplies, make yourself comfortable and prepare to multiply that brain power.

It’s OK to take a break:

If you feel you’re getting sidetracked easily or you’ve gotten to a point where you can’t effectively retain anything else, it’s okay to give your mind a rest. However, it’s also important during your break to leave your study area for a little bit.

Get up, go into the kitchen, grab a small snack, flip through a couple pins on Pinterest or read one chapter in a juicy novel. Remember not to take excessive breaks, 10 to 15 minutes will do.

When you’ve finished your small break, reapply that super-glue and go back to studying.

There’s an app for that:

The App Store is overflowing with apps that will enhance your studying, especially on the go. Better yet, most of them are free! My personal favorites are Evernote and Quizlet.

Evernote is a note-taking platform that allows you to take notes and sync them on any device. Take notes in class on your laptop, and review them on your phone as you wait in line, ride the bus or warm up your lunch in the microwave.

Quizlet is a website that allows you to make flashcards. This is a wonderful website because not only is it entirely personal, but it also has a number of different games and fun ways to help you memorize your virtual flashcards. You can also sync these to mobile devices to study wherever you are.

I’m imagining you don’t want to devote every spare minute to studying, but if you look back on your day, how much time are you wasting flipping through useless and mind-numbing Facebook, Twitter or Instragram feeds?

Try redirecting some of that energy to flipping through notes and flashcards and you’ll be amazed as you watch those test scores skyrocket.

Don’t worry:

Walt Disney once said, “Why worry? When you have done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.”

Walk into that testing center and be confident in your abilities. We are one smart group of people, my friends, and as long as we are doing our best, we have nothing to worry about.

Do everything you can do to prepare before your test, walk in fearlessly and I am certain you will walk out with a smile on your face.

Good luck, Wildcats! Go get ’em!