Doing well in STEM degrees relies heavily on your performance in exams. If you want to know how the top students make it look so easy, here are some of their best study tips.
- Maintain good study habits all year round
Doing well in your exams and STEM, in general, requires daily work. Not reviewing lectures, missing tutorials, ignoring your knowledge gaps and trying to wing-it just won’t work. This is because STEM skills are cumulative, and build on each other, which means you can’t cram for success.
The best route to good exam scores is a continuous process of review, assessment, and application of knowledge. Not only will this help with memorisation, but it will also stop panic building and allow you to feel your studying is under control.
- Constantly ask yourself questions
To study effectively, you also need a plan. As university STEM classes move at a rapid pace, the material can get confusing quickly if you don’t have a system to keep it all organised.
One way to do this is to ask yourself questions while you study. Questions like why, how, and what are a great way to assess your level of understanding. If you then don’t understand something, focus on that for the day. This will allow you to absorb complex knowledge at a faster rate so you can move ahead.
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- Use the study cycle to organise yourself
The study cycle is a tried and tested way of working on STEM subjects, especially at a time when you are being asked to work online and alone. This method helps prepare you for your online lectures and so your study time isn’t wasted.
- Prepare. Review the learning objectives and work before the lecture and ensure you have done the assigned reading.
- Actively participate in lectures. Take useful notes and get answers to the questions in your lectures.
- Review what you learned post-lecture and supplement your class notes with work problems and extra reading.
- Ramp study sessions up as you get closer to exams
Nearer to your exams you will need more intensive and specific study sessions. Aside from having a revision timetable, you need to do the following:
- Focus on stringent self-testing to gauge what you know and what you still need to work on.
- Work on memorisation and paraphrasing of your lecture notes or textbook.
- Expose yourself to as many different problems as you can, to help develop the critical thinking skills needed for exams.
- Work out problems without looking at solutions or using any resources.
- It’s also important to practice under time pressure, to get yourself used to solving problems more quickly than you might be used to.
- Take action over skipped/missed lectures
Proprep can help if you need to go over missed lectures and understand complex modules more clearly. We have an easy-to-use personalised system of STEM video content and study guides tailored to the specific needs of your university and your professors. All you need to set up your account is an email address which you can do by clicking here.