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What is the best method for studying for semester exams?

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Quick Answer

The best method for studying for semester exams includes breaking up small pieces of material into smaller increment study sessions. Instead of cramming for hours to learn the material, students should study in 20- to 50-minute intervals and take a 5- to 10-minute break between each session.

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Distributing learning into smaller intervals with short breaks may help students retain more information and re-energize their minds and bodies. During short breaks from study sessions, students should stretch and engage in physical activity to reduce the effects of stress that typically accompany preparation for semester exams and boost energy levels.

When studying for exams, some students find that alternating study spots maximizes energy and eagerness to learn the material. For example, instead of conducting interval study sessions in the library, students can move to a nearby cafe, lounge area on campus or classroom. Group study sessions may also engage the task of learning in intervals and provide alternative viewpoints when discussing course materials.

Implementing the best study method requires students to effectively manage time. Cramming for semester exams can cause anxiety, which affects the ability to retain information and reduce stress. Students should create a study schedule beginning a week or two before semester exams that allows for interval study sessions during times of the day when alertness is high.

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