“Success is not a linear process.”
Whether it is your first round of exams in your 7th grade year of middle school or the finals you take during college, exams are a stressful time. All students feel overwhelmed by the amount of work, anxious about their grades, and stressed because of the combination of the two.
Despite going to the exam prep classes that Episcopal provided for our first midterm in 7th grade, studying for exams and using different techniques for different classes was still an ambiguous process for me. I thought the only way I can be fully prepared for every class is by making flashcards of every question that could possibly be asked — bad idea. So much time was absorbed from writing all of these flashcards that I didn't have to time to study them. When I got the exam back, I got a solid 63%, and I was crushed. I thought I spent all of this time preparing for this exam and I still received a D-.
What I learned from this experience is that the studying technique of using flashcards doesn't work for me. Since then I have experimented with other study strategies such as reviewing what I got wrong on past tests and rereading material I didn't understand throughout the school year. I found that these techniques worked for me and I saw the improvement on my exam scores.
So what I want to tell you is that failure is okay as long as you learn from that failure and do different things to try to succeed on the next midterm or final. Keep in mind that most paths to success are not straight lines of progression, they go up, down, back, and forth.
Experimenting with different strategies and undergoing multiple trial and error scenarios is the only way you will be able to find the perfect studying technique that is right for you.
5 study tips for exam week: