How to Study for Exams: Evidence-Based tips

The Science Behind Why Your Study Methods Aren’t Working (and what to do instead!)

In the first semester of my freshman year of college, I had to take a math class to fulfill my major’s requirements. My advisor enrolled me in a 300 level statistics course, which ended up being much harder than I anticipated. It had been a few years since I had even taken a math class, and I hadn’t ever taken a stats class before. 

That whole semester was a slog, and I got some of the worst grades on quizzes and homework I’d ever gotten. As the end of the semester loomed, I realized I would have to pull off a miracle in the final exam in order to pass and keep up my GPA. 

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How to Make Yourself Study When You Don’t Have Any Motivation

How to Make Yourself Study When You Don't Have Any Motivation

There’s probably nothing more frustrating than knowing an exam is on the horizon, knowing you need to study for it, and completely lacking any motivation to actually sit down and get started.

Studying is one of those things that’s easy to lose motivation for. It can seem overwhelming, impossible, and never-ending. “Studying” as an idea is so amorphous it easily causes panic, fear, and even total shut down. 

But regaining motivation for studying isn’t impossible. And there are several ways to make sure your studying is stress-free, structured, manageable, and even fun. Let’s break some of them down:

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