While the two days UNC sets aside leading up to final exam period are titled “reading days,” UNC Learning Center academic coach Jackie Stone said students should do much more than just read. Here are three methods she gave on how to improve studying habits and make the most of those days.
Be deliberate about planning.
If studying a semester-long amount of material feels overwhelming, start by making a plan. After examining all of the topics you need to know, determine which you will need to devote the most attention to. Stone said that asking yourself where, when and with whom you will study is important.
“Getting into those really specific details makes you more likely to follow through with your plan,” she said.
Another way to hold yourself accountable is by talking about your plan.
“It can be helpful to let someone else know what your plan is,” Stone said. “That’s one of the points of academic coaching.”
Use active study strategies.
Simply reading a textbook is an example of a passive action. It is important in the initial phases of learning material but cannot suffice alone while studying for exams.
“Our brains can get the illusion of competence when we are just reading,” said Stone.