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9 Great Study Hacks for Your Next Exam


We’ve all been there: books open, music quietly pumping…and nothing but distraction. Well, we at PI understand your pain and want to help. Read on for nine time-saving, memory-crunching hacks that should help you on your next exam.

1. Study EARLIER in the day. This one I learned while in college and it benefited me a lot. Think about it—most students are in class during the day or, well, sleeping. The earlier you study, the less distractions you will face. Trust me.

2. Bring your notes to the gym. This requires coordination, but I can assure you there is something about moving and studying that gets the mind going.

3. Study out loud. For some reason this one worked VERY well for me, especially in classes where you needed to memorize things. Try this, but in a place where you can be loud, like your dorm room.

4. Listen to video game soundtracks. Can’t study without music, but lyrics make it hard to concentrate? Look up video game soundtracks—they are meant to keep you focused.

5. Pray. One of the best study hacks I can share with you is to pray before you begin. It helps focus your mind, trust me.

6. Create a study guide or flashcards. Did you know that writing something out is the memory equivalent of reading it SEVEN times in a row?

7. Study in small pieces. Coming home from class? Study the notes you just took. Break up your studying into smaller increments more days in a row. That way, when the test is announced, you’ve already done most of the heavy memory lifting.

8. Quiz yourself on what you just studied. Get together with a classmate at Starbucks after you’ve studied something and quiz each other on the material. Not only is this productive, but you get to make new friends like that!

9. Take a time-out! I call this my social minute. I study for 25 minutes, then take five minutes to do something else that isn’t studying. It helps break things up.


Girls, what have you found that works for you when you’re studying? Share with us below!

Image: Thinkstock


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  1. kstrenk

    Posted by kstrenk on March 8, 2015 at 15:49

    If you are going to study with music, use classical music so you are not tempted to sing along with the words.

  2. patientlywaitingforGodsplan

    Posted by patientlywaitingforGodsplan on September 23, 2014 at 17:09

    I find that if you make a Pandora station on some sort of instrumental music (I found an Enya station really helped me) you don’t have to make a play list and it can be really peaceful. I also find #9 to be extremely helpful. I’m doing that right now…. hehe.

  3. HetaliaFangirl4ever

    Posted by HetaliaFangirl4ever on September 14, 2014 at 14:07

    Yes these are all great! Especially 3, 4, 7, and 8. And for 4 I recommend listening to any of the soundtracks of the Professor Layton series. The music is great, but also play the game. It’s an adventure game with a plot but you have to solve puzzles and brainteasers. It’s a great way to exercise the brain and then the plots are amazing and mind boggling by the end 🙂

  4. Smylinggirl

    Posted by Smylinggirl on September 13, 2014 at 06:05

    I use flash cards and notes with the main points a lot. Also, if my friend is taking the same test, I will study with her. I listen to music, but the lyrics generally don’t distract me. I just can’t study for my College Math test and listen to music. First thing in my life I can’t do with music.

  5. jasmined17

    Posted by jasmined17 on September 12, 2014 at 09:11

    I like listening to music too, but instead of video game tracks, I look for “world music”, because the lyrics aren’t in language so I don’t get distracted by them! I’m especially a fan of sitar music, because you can find hour long songs on youtube so you don’t need to worry about picking a new song to listen to.

    • Smylinggirl

      Posted by Smylinggirl on September 13, 2014 at 06:06

      I love listening to songs in different languages. I’m going to look up sitar music.

  6. GallagherGirl823

    Posted by GallagherGirl823 on September 12, 2014 at 07:43

    That’s helpful; I spend most of my time on either #1 or #9!

  7. GallagherGirl823

    Posted by GallagherGirl823 on September 12, 2014 at 07:42

    This is really helpful. I spend most of my time on either #1 or #9. Fun!