Best Study Techniques to Help You Ace Your Next Test

By Brittany Loeffler on January 27, 2019

College is more than attending class and being involved in extracurricular activities. Many students spend a lot of their time studying for exams. Along the way, students learn study techniques that help them when it comes to midterms and finals during the semester. During a student’s freshman year, there may be some failed tests because they didn’t know how to study.

To help you get a head start on acing your college exams, we’ve put together the best study techniques. Since everyone learns differently, try them all out and see what works best for you.

study techniques

via Pixabay

Give Yourself Time to Study

Time management skills are essential as a college student. If you leave college with nothing but time management skills, then you will be successful. When it comes to studying, you should allot specific times dedicated to studying for one test. You never want to cram for a test the night before. This can cause lack of sleep and is not the best way to remember information.

Instead, start studying for your exam a few days before. Schedule an hour each day so you can study the information without cramming or over studying.

Organize Your Notes

The next important skill college students should learn is organization. When it comes to study techniques, this may be the most important. Before you sit down and really start reviewing the material, take a second and organize all of your notes. There is no set way to organize your notes, just do whatever makes the most sense to you.

Organizing your notes may require you to rewrite them or color code information. Believe it or not, by simply organizing your notes, you are studying! When you review your notes and organize them, you are reading the information you need and are more likely to remember it.

Read Aloud

It may sound silly, but reading your notes or parts of your textbook out loud can help you study for an exam. People are more likely to remember something when they hear it than if they simply read it. In this case, you will be doing both reading and listening. If there is a certain chapter that you struggle with, take some time and read it aloud a couple of times.

Create a Mind Map

Mind maps are ideal study techniques if you are a visual learner. A mind map gathers a lot of information in one place and categorizes and connects it all together. Feel free to color code the information or even use a large poster board to make your mind map. You can also use a computer generated mind map if you are in a crunch for time.

A mind map is helpful, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information you need to study. It will break it down and make it feel much more manageable.


You probably used flashcards in middle school and high school. Now it’s time to use them in college. Flashcards are just one of the best study techniques you can use to pass your exams because they are easy to make and help you remember specific terms and facts. Even when you create your flashcards you’re studying the material and writing it down, helping you to commit it to memory.

Flashcards are also extremely convenient because they are small and you can take them anywhere. If you want to cram a little before your test, whip out your flashcards in the hallway while waiting for your exam.

Create a Study Group

Study groups aren’t for everyone because they can be distracting, but if studying with other people works for you, then create a study group with your classmates. This will allow you to talk about the information and work it out amongst yourselves rather than listening to your professor or reading it over and over again in your textbook.

Being a part of a study group also allows you to teach the information to other students, which is actually another one of the study techniques that are most effective. When you teach the information to someone, you show that you fully understand it and can put it in your own words.

Find the Study Techniques That Work For You

Not all college students are the same. Some are more visual learners while others learn best when they listen to lectures. When it comes to studying, it’s up to you to find the study techniques that work the best. It doesn’t hurt to try different techniques and see what is the most effective. When you do find the one that works for you, stick with it! You’ll never feel nervous about passing another test again.

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