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Study smart and finish strong

students studying at computer

As the semester winds down, ramp up your study skills and be ready to ace your exams with these tips from the pros in Academic Coaching. Oh, and remember, you’ve got this!  

Create an exam study schedule

Decide where and when you will study for a particular course. Creating a plan can help you avoid last-minute cramming.

Organize your study space

Make sure you have a dedicated area free of distractions. It should be comfortable (but not too comfy!) and an environment that helps you focus, ideally with some natural light.


Looking for a great place to study on campus?

Try these suggestions from our Student Content Team.

"My favourite study spots are usually classrooms. From my classroom in the Senator Burns building, you can look out the window at the rest of campus. I tend to stay back after most classes to catch up on assignments and just take a mental break."

Kajol Bhatia, second-year Journalism student

"If you’re like me and have classes in just one building, try somewhere new! 

  • Aldred Centre, basement or 1st floor — it’s quiet in the mornings and after 3 pm.
  • Heritage Hall, 1st floor is super quiet early in the morning and after 3 pm — and it’s great for studying alone or in small groups.
  • Johnson-Cobbe Energy Centre, 3rd floor has so many tables available after 4 pm — and it’s the best for sunsets. 😻"

Candy Loo, second-year Business Administration student

Study in short blocks of time

Capitalize on how the brain processes information — study in short sessions and schedule breaks throughout. Divide each hour of study into three 20-minute blocks and dedicate the last few minutes of each block to getting a drink, having a snack, taking a quick walk…  

Change study topics frequently

Mixing up your study subjects helps you be more attentive.    

Review your learning objectives

Check your course outline for a learning objective refresh — they’re basically a road map for your course. Learning objectives can give you a good idea of where to focus your time and provide direction on what to study.

Study actively – don’t just read through your notes

Make additional notes, create flash cards, take practice tests and/or study in groups. Active studying helps you remember content better.

Explain your answers out loud

You can try this on others or by yourself. This is a good way to focus your thoughts, get things straight in your head and highlight what you need to work on.  

Plan your exam day

Being organized and feeling calm makes you less prone to distraction and better able to tap into your memory before an exam. 

  • Know where you’re going — check the exam location ahead of time and arrive early.
    • 🔎 Your exam schedule is available in mySAIT and Ellucian GO.
    • Tip: V116 is the Gym, Campus Centre.
  • Lay out what you’ll need for the exam in advance.
  • Have a back-up plan in case there are problems with the weather, transit or your ride.


Check out some winning exam writing strategies and get more helpful advice on how to write exams like a pro at the success seminar on Wednesday, Dec. 4, noon to 1 pm or 3 to 4 pm. Or drop by the Lamb Learner Success Centre — MC221, Stan Grad Centre — anytime.

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