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10 Simple Study Hacks To Help You Ace That Test

Posted by Emily Henkel on 12/7/16 8:34 AM

ILP Romania

These little tips might be all you need to ace your exams! Oh, the stress of test taking…it’s great. Okay, maybe the part after you finish is the really great part. Whether you’re ready to finish up your online semester while volunteering abroad or getting ready for finals, sometimes new study tips can really help you out.

Change the Font 

Change online notes to a harder to read font when studying. If you are looking over your Anthropology notes typed in a font that's easy to read, you’ll be more likely to skim the information rather than really reading it. 

Leave a Snack

Need some motivation to read through your textbook? Place a gummy bear or other candy on every few paragraphs to keep you reading.

Play Music 

While listening through hours of lectures, put instrumental music on in the background to help you focus. Try your favorite movie soundtrack or something like Sigur Ros (a super good Icelandic band…bonus points if you take study breaks by looking up how to spend a semester volunteering in Europe so you can take a trip to Iceland. 

Use This App 

Don’t be tempted to spend precious study time browsing Facebook. Use an app like “Block” or “Cold Turkey” while you are studying so you can’t access favorite time wasters. 

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Write it Down 

The more writing exercises you do, the more likely your brain will be able to remember the info. Before taking a test, write down all the important stuff on a notecard (pretend you can bring it inside with you). Then, check your notes. Are you missing anything really important? Fill in the holes, then write everything down on a new notecard. After a few times, you’ll have all the information you need to know! 

Tell A Story 

Keep track of tiny details (like historical names and dates or numbers on the Periodic Table) by telling a ridiculous story yourself. Create an outlandish fairytale to help you keep track of what you need to know.

Color Code 

Take notes while studying in different colored pens. It will help your brain remember more information than writing everything in the same color.

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Remember It Two Ways 

Try out this study tip at your apartment rather than the library; saying and writing down information is going to help you remember it much better than if you just write it down. So, find a quiet place and read your note cards out loud. 

Spritz Perfume

Get a unique scent to spray while you are studying at home. When you go to take your test, spray the same perfume. The scent will jog your memory and help you remember the info you reviewed at home. (Chewing a weird or unique flavor of gum does the same thing).  

First Things First 

The minute you get into your exam, write down any formulas or tricky bits of information you’ll need later on in the test. Now you don’t have the stress of remembering that one formula because it’s already written down on your paper.


One Last Tip

It’s also handy to switch locations when studying; Maybe between your cute apartment and the beach during a semester living in the Dominican Republic? I'm looking at you, college students who want to travel the world. 

You can get college credit (and sometimes internship credit!) while volunteering with International Language Programs—spend a semester making a difference, traveling and living abroad. ILP has humanitarian and exchange opportunities all over the world, plus it doesn't take much to be an ILP volunteer (here are our volunteer requirements). 

Learn more about our program by clicking below…and good luck on your test!

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Topics: Tips For Your Twenties


*Because of the worldwide pandemic, travel options are limited and frequently changing. You'll need to do additional research as resources + activities shared in this post may or may not be available at the time of your trip.

ILP volunteers — work closely with your Program Manager who can help you understand current country entrance requirements which will determine what countries you can visit during your semester. 



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We are ILP, a Utah-based non-profit org that has service abroad opportunities for college-age volunteers. We love travel so we're sharing all our tips for making the most of your time living abroad + seeing the world, and how to do it all on the tiniest budget.

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