How to study for an exam when you have no time










That frightening moment when you get a reminder of the date of an exam and it’s only 6 days from now… you start panicking because you’ve only studied the first 3 lessons! I really hope you don’t have to go through this, but if you do…

 

What to do? Well, I’ve been there, I’m not going to lie, here’s a piece of advice to get the best possible results with the little time you have, use your time wisely and promise yourself to use a study schedule next time to have your mind at ease the last week before the exam.


Stay in your comfort zone 

What a weird advice, nowadays the trend for everything is stepping out of your comfort zone, right? But this is an emergency! Fight or flight! And we’re fighting here, the best way to do this is doing what has worked before for you. Are you a night owl? Don’t try to become a morning person for the sake of an effective study routine, not at the last minute, it won’t work.

 

If you need to stay up late to get through the most information possible and you work best at night then do it.

 

Be smart when choosing your learning resources

If you’re struggling to understand a single paragraph of a textbook, and you go over and over it, more than 4 times, skip it, if you find it hard to get the whole concept of a page or a chapter consider finding an easier, more digested source of information; is there a reliable Youtube channel you know about where you can find this topic shortly and with a simpler explanation? Go and look for it.

 

Don’t waste time trying to understand something complicated when someone else has already made a simple explanation, you’ll get frustrated by digging into the textbook’s words, I’m not saying you should do this for every exam, just right now you have to use your time and energy the smartest way to get the most of your study.

 

Do you have friends years ahead that could help you out? Reach out to them, ask them what to focus on, how did they study, borrow their notes, this is a shortcut you shouldn’t always rely on, making your own notes and getting the information from recommended textbooks will give you better results, but, just for this one time, we need to use everything on hand to make it through the exam.

 

Don’t break the flow

Once you’re in the mood and started to study, you’re losing track of time, don’t stop unless it’s necessary or your body is asking you to do so. Turn off distractions… put that phone away… in another room… of another house… locked in a safe cage… and lose the freaking key! Sorry, I panicked a little here, but you get the point.

 

Try to avoid distractions as much as possible, don’t stop unless you’re tired, or your brain needs a break. If you are used to studying in short breaks then stick to 4 but instead of watching a YouTube video on your 5-minute break do some physical activity, get that blood pumping to stay alert, and be able to continue studying. 

 

Scrolling through social media, or a quick tv break is a no-no in this situation, this will take your mind away from the study mood, too many distractions will make it harder to get in the flow again after your short break.

 

Reward yourself

Cramming isn’t fun guys… You’re doing a really hard work, you managed a 6 hours study session and still, your nerves are wrecking! Stressing over the exam and feeling guilty you didn’t study before, it’s okay, I’ve been there.

 

Only after you’ve accomplished a decent amount of study. Now you can take your phone… finally! If that is a reward for you; if you were actually craving going for a run to free your thoughts a little bit that’s up to you. Reward yourself with whatever makes you happy.

 

Try to have a nice rest the night before

Time’s up, you made the best you could with the time you had. Now we don’t want a fatigued brain, that won’t get you anywhere even if you understood everything you managed to study.

 

Take a warm shower, get a nice meal (not too heavy), and go to bed on time, you’re probably very tired for overworking anyways, so hopefully, after you relax you’ll be able to sleep all night. Don’t forget to turn on the alarm!

 

During the exam

The moment of freaking out is over, now you have to be as confident as possible with the information you managed to digest. Skip through the questions and answer the ones you already know, if you’ve got any essay questions included write on the side the crucial words that come to your mind and expand on those later.

 

Focus on the questions of the topics you managed to study. Don’t waste time trying to guess over a question you might have read somewhere. Instead, try to make sure you got right the ones you understand. 

 

After the exam

We both know that cramming wasn’t the best learning experience you had. So, take responsibility and go through the topics again, with the exam questions still fresh in your head, write down as many as you can remember, and reinforce the topics that need reinforcement. 

 

Study the topics you didn’t get the chance to even read, and being honest if you failed that exam this reinforcement could be helpful if you need to repeat it, or to get a higher grade on the finals and step up from this little slip.

 

Break the vicious cycle

Cramming is exhausting, stressful, and painful, nobody wants to deal with this situation on every exam of the career. Besides, is like playing Russian roulette with your grades, you might pass 1 or 2 exams, but you won’t always be lucky, someday the lessons you didn’t get to study could be most of the exam’s questions and you’d fail.

 

Commit yourself to study on time for the next exam, you deserve better than average grades. If you’re a serial procrastinator try starting even before the semester begins. What do I mean by this? If there are no exams to study? I mean start building the habit of studying every day, even if it’s only 30 minutes, pick a topic of a subject you love and read about it, make notes, every day.

 

If you’re not familiar with creating long term habits you could find the book Atomic Habits really helpful, here I go over 15 great advice from it to help you build any habit you’d like to conquer.

15 Things I learned from Atomic Habits by James Clear









My Book of the Month, August 2020: Atomic Habits – James Clear

*This post contains affiliate links

He caught me since page one, his story about the brain injury and how he had to learn everything again was incredible, if someone can recover from a comma, start from zero and be so successful, there is definitely something I can learn from them. 

This book deconstructed everything I think I knew about habits and how to build them, I am more patient with myself and I’ve learned to look at the big picture the right way. Here’s a summary of the most relevant points I learned from this book.

Right now you can get this hardcover for only $16.20 it’s 40% off, that’s cheaper than the paperback option! It is also available on Kindle, but I always prefer my favorite books on paper, and this one is definitely worth having on the shelf.

 

1. What is an atomic habit?

As atoms are the fundamental bricks of all matter, tiny habits are the bricks of every individual. The things that you do consistently every day are what define you, whether they are good or bad habits. 

Therefore an atomic habit is that behavior you reproduce daily without you putting much thought on it.

2. Build habits to become the person you want to be, not for the goals you want to reach

We focus so much on the goals that we miss the whole point, and by focusing on the goals we lose motivation very easily. Instead, we should ask ourselves who is the person that constantly achieves those goals and what would that person do every day.

 

To me this is actually seeing the big picture, not focusing on the accomplishments at the top of the mountain, but becoming the person who successfully climbs and reaches the top of the mountain.

 

He gives a pretty clear example, if a basketball team wants to win a game, it would be absurd if they only focus on the score chart and not on the things the players do while in the game.

 

3. Pointing and calling to raise self-awareness of your bad habits.

This may sound silly but I spent a whole day pointing and calling every action I made through the day, as recommended by James and giving each action a score to tell if this particular action was taking me closer to the person I wanted to be, pulling me back, or made no difference. 

 

I found that most of the actions were bad habits, I check my phone way too often for my productivity goals to be reached for example.

 

This is a golden piece of advice, pointing out every action you do in autopilot will give yourself a sense of awareness, write it down on paper and evaluate whether it is good or bad, better said, does it take you closer to the person you want to become or does it pull you back?

 

4. Stacking new habits on top of current ones.

If you find yourself having a hard time building a particular habit, commit yourself to do it after you finish doing something you do every day on autopilot. Make it as specific as possible, for example, the smell of coffee could be the trigger to sit and study.

 

If every morning you make yourself a cup of coffee, right after you pour the coffee on the cup and feel that delicious smell, go with the cup in hand to your desk and start studying at least for 30 minutes, you can make it longer with time.

 

5. Environment shapes your behavior

If you live in an unhealthy environment and this doesn’t have to be obvious, you will have a hard time having healthy habits. For example, the more visible a jar of cookies is, the more you’ll choose them for a snack instead of the apples laying in the bottom of the refrigerator, if you can see them easily you’ll probably choose it.

 

Same goes for every habit you want to build, you can modify your environment in order to have more access to this new habit. Want to drink more water? Have a bottle in the common places of your house. Want to watch less TV? Have the remote away from the bed or take the TV out of your bedroom.

 

You can link yourself to a particular habit in a particular context, set a little corner of your room with a comfy arm chair, and a shelf with the books you want to read daily, eventually you’ll associate that corner with reading.

 

6. Temptation bundling to make habits more attractive.

While exercise doesn’t seem as enjoyable as scrolling through social media for some; if you really want to build a habit that brings you out of your comfort zone, place it before something you enjoy doing.

 

This way the anticipation of that thing you enjoy doing will give you the spike of dopamine needed to get you on track and start doing what you need to do. It’s pretty simple, the temptation of that thing you want to do will push you to do what you need to do in order to get what you want.

 

So, if you are an Instagram junkie, and want to exercise more, put yourself the challenge to only be able to check out Instagram after you’ve completed a quick 5-minute work out session, start small, and keep on moving forward. 

 

7. Surround yourself by people who have your desired habit as normal

We internally and unconsciously want to fit in, it’s very difficult to avoid the crowd. But, what if you found a tribe that had all your desired behaviors, the habits you want to implement in your life are normal to them? You’ll push yourself to reach the same level or become even better to be recognized and praised.

 

Even if you don’t do it to be recognized, you can always find a tribe, a support group, people with similar goals and interests; this is another way to make the habits attractive and you’ll find it easier to stick to them. 

 

8. Reprogramming yourself to enjoy hard habits

This is another way to make habits attractive, as a way to motivate yourself to do hard stuff, change the perspective on how you see it, instead of saying “I have to study” change it for “I get to study what I love” it is a privilege that not many people have. 

 

Have a little motivational routine before having your hard habit done. Whether it is listening to your favorite music or having a big cup of tea, do it before starting to work on the hard stuff and it will be more enjoyable with time.

 

9. Being in Motion is different from taking action

We spend way too much time in motion, preparing ourselves, researching to make things perfect, and eventually, this search for perfection becomes procrastination. 

 

We feel like achieving something when doing this, but the actual progress is made when we take action, even if it’s a little step you take further, it won’t be perfect but it will be progress.

 

10. Making the right little choices

James says that any habit can start with 2 minutes, you have to make it super simple to take the first step. Even if it is just writing one sentence, if you do it every day consistently, you’ll soon find yourself writing more; one good action can lead to a succession of good actions towards the good habits you want to build.

 

11. Choosing long term gratification over short term gratification is not in our brains’ nature

We are biologically built to prefer the instant gratification, is a survival instinct, for our ancestors the food was scarce they had to look for it constantly and it felt satisfying, they had to be running from predators and looking for places to hide the instant gratification was the safe place, and so on.

 

In modern life, the choices we make for long term gratification are not as satisfying but are the ones that’ll get us where we want to be. Therefore, to make a habit stick it has to feel like a little victory every time you repeat it. An example, if you want to stop buying fast food and start cooking at home, every time you avoid buying fast food put the money you would’ve spent there in a savings account for something nice you want to buy.

 

12. Habit trackers are super effective:

They give us that sense of instant gratification, checking off a little square for one more day of consistently working out, practicing a language, or writing 300 words are great ways to see the progress made on a certain amount of time.

 

Habit tracking can be done as journals of exercise, for example, it doesn’t matter how small the amount, of exercise you did one day, if it’s only 5 squats, that already counts, 5 is more than 0. Showing up for your habit, going to the gym for 5 minutes, it builds up to the person you want to become.

 

In those days when you’re feeling demotivated look at your habit journal, is it really worth it to break your streak?

 

13. The Habit Contract

Making a commitment to stick to a habit with stated consequences if you fail to do so will help you stay motivated; there has to be a punishment of some sort involved and someone else willing to be a part of the punishment. 

 

He gives the example of Thomas Frank, who wakes up every morning at 5:55 a.m. and he has a scheduled tweet that says: “It’s 6:10 and I’m not up because I’m lazy! Reply to this for $5 via PayPal (limit 5), assuming my alarm didn’t malfunction.” 

 

If you have an instant punishment for not maintaining your habit you’ll avoid the punishment by sticking to the habit as most as you can.

 

14. The Goldilocks Zone

This is the right spot where a challenge is not easy enough to be boring or difficult enough to be disappointing. It’s the exact amount of hard work you need to make some progress and feel motivated by the small victories you can achieve without forgetting there’s so much more to grow.

 

While your brain is working on the right challenge you might experience being in a flow state, time flies and you are completely immersed in the activity you’re performing, this is when real progress is made. Get small new challenges achievable but not so easy not to improve your skills, this will keep you motivated.

 

15. Why is reviewing your habits important

Once we establish the desired habit and we act on autopilot is very easy to forget to keep challenging ourselves to become better at something greater. 

 

To actually master a habit we need to reflect from time to time how our habits are taking us to where we want to be, who we want to become, and if we haven’t made progress more than being good at something, try and challenge ourselves to become better, to specialize, find new things to learn from our field of expertise, this way the habits stay interesting and satisfying, it’s a never-ending cycle.

 

Final Thoughts 

This book opened my mind to a whole new level, I used to take on so many habits at the same time and pushed myself so hard, that the impulse lasted short, I got tired in a week or less when trying to build most habits, I needed those instant results, and when I didn’t get them… the disappointment, the failure.

 

Now I have the techniques to trick my mind into making hard habits instantly satisfying and I’m definitely going to apply some of this into my life, to become the person I want to be.

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to improve and grow, develop new skills and habits but getting frustrated everytime they try, it will open your understanding on human behavior and how to control it in your favor to build new habits.

 

How to create a sleep routine to wake up early and be productive

 

Would you rather be dreaming or working for your dreams? It is not a secret that many successful people including scientists and billionaires who wake up early, start their days beating the hardest tasks on their lists when most of us are still sleeping.

Keep on reading and you’ll find a surprise so you don’t miss a single step to maximize your productivity in the mornings!

 

How to wake up early and not feel tired

Of course, there’s no use for you to wake up at 4 am if you’re going to feel groggy and sleepy. Then what can you do to feel more energized when waking up early? The key is on your sleep routine, these are all the steps you take before bed, even without noticing it, there is a pattern which is not that hard to change.

Why having a bedtime routine is important

Humans are prone to establish routines, certain behaviors tend to stick more than others, that’s why it is so important to consciously set up healthy nighttime habits to have a good night sleep and wake up with more energy in the morning. Before bed, you can set up everything to have the most productive morning,

To wake up early, you have to sleep early; the earlier you want to wake up, the earlier you’ll have to go to bed. Always keep in mind the recommended amount of sleep for adults, don’t try to be a superhuman and sleep only 4 hours to wake up early, because it will wear you down in the long run.

Creating a healthy sleep routine

Changing your sleeping habits is not something you can just switch; a night owl can’t become an early bird overnight. Nevertheless, you can try to modify it gradually, taking baby steps into the best bedtime routine for you to ensure a productive morning.

Why is my sleep routine not working?

If you find that you can’t wake up early even with an alarm there are some major changes to be made in your night time routine; as a heavy sleeper as you could be, after a good night of resting sleep you should be able to wake up when the alarm rings. Maybe it is not loud enough, or maybe you’re missing some of the next steps.

 

Establishing a night time routine

1. Reduce screen time:

Screens are a source of blue light that reduces our bodies’ production of melatonin (the hormone of sleep). If you must use your devices turn on the night mode or apply a filter for blue light, so it doesn’t mess with your circadian cycle

2. Have dinner earlier:

A light dinner would be better for this time of the day, try avoiding fatty or spicy food and caffeinated drinks that might interfere with your sleep. Also laying down right after you’ve eaten increases the risk of heartburn and indigestion which traduces in an uncomfortable night.

3. Get a nice environment to wake up to:

Nobody wants to wake up to a cold, messy room. If possible try and tidy up anything that’s out of place. On cold days program the heater to turn on about 30 minutes before you’ll wake up so it isn’t that difficult to leave your comfy sheets.

4. Make a to-do list for the morning:

Why would you wake up early in the morning for no reason? If there is an exciting project you´re working on first thing in the morning is probably the best time to make some progress. Experts in neuroscience advise tackling the most difficult task in your list in the morning, this is the optimal timing for productivity.

5. Set up an alarm and place it away from bed:

Recommended by various productivity gurus this trick only works if you have set up your alarm to a time where your body is already fully rested, you’ll have to break your comfort zone to turn it off, and it is more likely that you stay up.

6. Have your “me-time”:

Take a nice shower/bath, listen to your favorite music, do some yoga or meditation, put on your comfy pajamas, give yourself a foot massage or read a book. Whatever it is that one thing you need to feel relaxed and forget about daily stressful situations, this is the moment to do it, everyone needs some me-time before bed.

7. Drink water:

This is a personal favorite, drinking water right before going to bed, it’s a bit tricky because the effect of having to go to the bathroom might happen on the middle of the night, but in most cases, if you naturally have a deep sleep pattern, by the time you wake up the urge to go to the bathroom will keep you out of bed.

8. Visualize:

Check the time when you lay down let’s say it is 23:00; really visualize the numbers and then visualize the time you want to get up 6:00; this helps you to mentally prepare your body for this challenge.

9. Go to bed early:

Take note of the time you want to wake up to, and count down at least 7 hours of sleep, this should be the time you go to bed. You can do this gradually through the week until you get to your ideal wake up time, for example, if you want to wake up at 5 am, but you usually wake up at 9 am, try reducing 1 hour every couple of days until you get to wake up at 5 am without feeling grumpy.

 

How long should a bedtime routine be

This can take anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours or more depending on your family dynamic or if you are a single person and the routine only depends on you. I’ll set up these examples for families and individuals, but times can vary greatly. Besides, this isn’t necessarily the order in which you should take the steps; maybe having your me-time right when you get home is better for your routine, you can adapt them to your own pace of life.

Task Time
Families Individuals
Meal prep 40 min 10 – 20 min
Dinner 30 min 10 – 15 min
Quick clean up 10 min 5 – 10 min
Get ready to go to bed (me-time) 40 – 60 min 25 – 40 min
Schedule next day tasks and set up an alarm 10 min 5 – 10 min
Tuck in kids 20 – 25 min
Fall asleep 10 – 20 min 10 – 20 min
Total time 2h 45’ – 3h 15’ 1h 05’ – 1h 50’

 

Right when the alarm beeps

1. Don’t hit snooze:

What a gentle way to start your day with a failure; hitting the snooze button. Don’t let this happen, right when you hear the alarm get on your feet and turn it off. The next thing to do is making your bed, so you don’t even think about going back to it; once you’ve made your bed you’ve accomplished your first victory of the day!

2. Go straight to the bathroom:

This is the moment when the glass of water before bed trick kicks in; release your bladder, and splash some fresh water in your face, brush your teeth, comb your hair, for a step up and supercharge yourself take an energizing shower.

3. Have a glass of water:

After 7 hours or more without water, your body is dehydrated, even without you noticing it, water helps you boost your metabolism and is part of the energetic processes in our organism.

4. Have breakfast:

The most important meal of the day, you can’t miss this one or eventually, you’ll run out of energy and all your hard work in getting to wake up early will be lost. Whole grains, carbohydrates, and proteins are fundamental in your breakfast, try and make it as complete as possible.

5. Stretch:

Get that blood pumping up and down your body, stretching is a great way to shake out the laziness you might feel after waking up early in the morning, in addition, you can do some quick exercises or a yoga routine (always is a good time for yoga). Warming up your body increases the metabolic activity in the brain cortex, take advantage of this morning exercise to tackle your highly cognitive demanding tasks once you’ve raised your body temperature a little bit.

6. Start your day:

Now it’s time to beat the heck out of that to-do list. Remember, don’t think about it twice, just sit down and get the job done. Or stand on your feet and get to work, whatever it is on the first place of your list, start it right over. Get things done!

 

Wake up early and be productive

It is a no-brainer if you have 2-3 hours of work done before the world starts to wake up and bombard you with notifications, calls, requests. You are several steps ahead in productivity than most. Take advantage of the perks of being awake before everybody, you’ll have uninterrupted work time, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll find this to be the most productive time of the day.

 

How long does it take to establish a sleep routine

A sleep routine is a sequence of daily habits that you’ll include in your night to make the best out of your sleep hours. As habits, they would take anywhere from 18 days to 256 days to stick. Do you feel overwhelmed about that number? How about if I tell you than in just 8 days of waking up earlier and having 3 hours of work done, you’ll have 24 hours of PRODUCTIVE working time.

You’ve just added one full day of uninterrupted work to your week. By just making a little effort,  self-discipline, and strength. Is it worth it? Of course, it is, In 256 days you’d have 32 EXTRA days of productivity, by making these little changes in your routine.

 

How to maintain a sleep routine

Does this mean that I’ll have to wake up early every day? Yes, every single day, weekends and holidays included, this is the only way you can maintain your sleep routine and your peaks of early morning productivity. Start slow, have some realistic goals according to your usual routine, it might take you 1 month or 3 until you actually start feeling comfortable by waking up early, and your bedtime routine starts flowing naturally, but it is so worth it.

 

Don’t miss a single step

I’ve created a one-page PDF with this Step by step process. Print this Cheatsheet and place it where most of your routine takes place, so you don’t miss a single step, also you can track the days you’ve woken up early to stick to this good habit. You can download it at my FREE Resources page, to get access sign up below:

How to revise more effectively + FREE Spaced Repetition Study Schedule









This is it, you decided to study ahead of time for that big exam, no more cramming in the last 3 days to get an average or below average grade. Besides, a week later it’s like you did a wipe on your disc and all the information is gone.

Not this time, you will knock it out of the park, you’ll remember everything because you’ll study with enough time to revise and polish your weak points. So, how do you start? How much is enough time to study for a test? How often do you have to revise your notes? How can you be able to memorize everything?

Around 140 years ago Hermann Ebbinghaus, a German psychologist was dealing with these same issues, well, maybe not the same, but he was wondering, how much we forget in a lapse of time; he experimented on himself, and the results opened a door to many more investigations around memory and human learning.

What is the forgetting curve

He attempted to discover the rate of forgetting meaningless material and also significant (meaningful) material during the first thirty days after it had been learned.  Determining the amount of information that had been forgotten during the following intervals: 19 minutes, 65 minutes, 8 hours, 1 day, 2 days, 6 days, 30 days.

This can be graphically represented in a curve as the percentage of information lost over time when there’s no reviewing process involved.

Have you ever wondered how long does it take to forget something we just learned? Ebbinghaus had the same question and answered it.

 

What describes the typical forgetting curve

We start forgetting newly learned information around 20 minutes after reading it, and more than half of the material is forgotten during the first hour. After that, the curve tends to lower at a slower rate.

What?! There´s no way! How can I stop this?

It is pretty doable, by getting ahead and revising the materials before we completely forget them.

So, if you are the kind of student that stocks on huge piles of information and goes class after class, taking the first one for granted, let me show you a more effective way to study without having to spend much more time.

 

Why is the forgetting curve important

If we take advantage of how our brains work, we can use this forgetting curve in our favor.

Turns out, that forgetting is part of learning, if we don’t forget, and feel the need to get that piece of information back, our brains don’t take it as relevant.

If we get our efforts back on the subject we learned yesterday, the path to get it in front of our heads will easier.

Think of it as a path that hasn’t been transited enough and it’s on the other edge of the grass, the more often you go through it, the easier it will be to get there. That’s kind of how our memory works.

 

How to overcome forgetting

It is not about forgetting, it is about remembering before we forget the whole thing, and by doing so build stronger learning.

There is a method called spaced repetition, taking as a base the forgetting curve to work for us. Keeping in mind the amount of time in which the data in our brains gets lost, we can actively revise our knowledge, if we need to use it, we will remember it.

The spacing means that on crescent time intervals we will have to study again, 1 day after, 3 days after, 6 days after, and then 25 days after the first time we studied the material.

 

How to remember newly learned information

Make sure you understand the piece of info laying in front of you, a mechanical memorizing of terms won’t do the work. Try and recognize where it comes from and how do the parts of it stick together.

Take concise notes of your material, and make questions to work with in future revision sessions. This is a habit that some students don’t have, prepare for the exam since the first study session.

Make possible exam questions, this gets your brain to work by reconstructing the information into questions.

 

When to review and how to do it

The day after your first study session on that subject, before you jump to the next one, do a quick review of what you’ve learned yesterday, take a quick read to your notes.

After reading your notes, answer the questions made by yourself on that first study session and get a couple more questions to work with, this is active learning.

Think about a problem you could solve with this knowledge you have, recite step by step how would you solve the problem with what you’ve learned.

For example, while learning about the knee ligaments, our professor mentioned the clinical application to it and how the soccer players were prone to have lesions in this specific area.

So, in my head, I would have to examine a patient and with the anatomy knowledge I have, decide whether a certain movement on the knee is natural (based on the disposition of the ligaments) or if it’s a sign of lesion.

This is how spaced repetition works, you should practice this active review 1 day, 3 days, 6 days, and 25 days after your initial study session.

 

How to study with flashcards and implement spaced repetition

The first time I ever heard of the Ebbinghaus curve and spaced repetition was on a Youtube video by my favorite study guru Thomas Frank, he explains in a very simple way how to get the best out of flashcards with a system that works.

Putting on different boxes the cards you have successfully remembered, and the ones you failed to remember. Therefore focusing your efforts on the cards you didn’t get right. You’ll need around 5 boxes to have different intervals of time to revise each group of flashcards.

Best apps for spaced repetition system

If you like to study with flashcards, there are plenty of apps really helpful to create your flashcards and have them with you to review anywhere and anytime.

– Anki: the best feature of this app, is that it comes integrated with your forgetting curve system, it shows you the material you need to review based on the last time you revised each flashcard successfully, you just have to create your flashcards, review them and let the app do its magic.

– Memrise: it has a more attractive design than Anki and you can customize better your flashcards, plus there is a wide variety of Memrise cards that other users have created and are available for you to use.

– Quizlet: the process of creating flashcards with this app is the easiest, you got definitions included for a wide variety of subjects, and by simply typing a term you can choose content that is already on the app for the back of the card.

 

How to apply spaced repetition in college

It all comes down to time management, make a list of all the topics you need to study, then calculate how much time will it take you to study each one, if you have 20 topics to cover for an exam and it will take you 3 hours each one you’ll need 60 hours to study everything for the first time.

If you add 2 hours of revision (half an hour for every day you need to review) that sums up to 100 hours of total study for this exam,

3 hours of a first study session  

 

 

X 20 topics = 100 hours

30 minutes the day after
30 minutes 3 days after
30 minutes 6 days after
30 minutes 25 days after
Total study time per topic = 5 hours

 

You can use your study time however works best for you, take notes of the date you studied each topic the first time, and from there calculate when will you have to review it next time.

I’ll make it easier for you, you can download my free study schedule based on spaced repetition, this is by far the most effective way to remember everything to study.


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Just set the date you should study each topic counting the days from the first lecture, and write it down on the grid, check off when you’ve successfully reviewed on time and keep track of your study sessions.

If you like this kind of resources let me know and I’ll come up with more ideas. Enjoy your learning!