Article by Hazel Marion and Madelyn Kenney

May has finally arrived, with all of its natural beauty and fantastic weather. However, the beginning of May also marks a thoroughly dreaded time of year: exam season. To make those late nights less daunting, here are a few tips for making the most out of preparing for exams.

Limit distractions

The first step to a productive study session is to make sure there is nothing to distract you from your work. Take that cell phone, put it on silent, and set it out of arm’s reach so there is no temptation to check it. Also, be sure to study in a comfortable environment that will minimize distractions, such as a library, coffee shop, or outside.

Make a plan

If you’re not on a time crunch, it might be advantageous to schedule times to study for different classes. Having stricter goals can help you stay on task! Making a list of goals and setting priorities for what is most important will also help you manage your time wisely.

Take advantage of the College Board website

College Board has recordings of tons of review videos for each AP exam they give. Use this link to watch them. Also, there are daily live streams where you can listen to the experts and ask any questions! The website also has plenty of practice questions and exams for you to test yourself with.

If you like studying with music: Here are some playlists!

Sometimes you just need a little background music to help lose the monotony in studying! Listening to music can be beneficial as long as it does not have any lyrics. Here are some playlists, from classical to lo-fi!

If you don’t like studying with music…

Total silence is not always the most comfortable environment to study in. If music is too distracting for you, check out these Youtube videos of relaxing sounds to help you get in the zone!

Work in short spurts!

Studies have shown that studying multiple times in short spurts is more beneficial than cramming for hours on end. If you want to manage your time as wisely as possible, set some timers to keep you on track!

Phone a friend

Find a classmate and plan a call or study session at your local library, coffee shop, or anywhere that’s quiet and has WiFi. Rebound topics and ideas off each other and work together to jog your memory on topics you need a refresher on. For more study group strategies, check out this article from the Learning Center at UNC Chapel Hill!

Studying doesn’t have to be as daunting as everyone makes it out to be. With the right tools and mindsets, it can be a productive and enjoyable experience! Good luck on all of your exams!