Study Tips and Tricks

Hello SWEpole,

We know that midterm season can be stressful. To combat this stress, promote good study habits, and help you to be successful, the Communications Committee brainstormed some helpful study tips. Check out the list below:

  • Make a study guide using the course learning objectives
  • Hicks and WALC are now both 24 hours! Try a change of scenery (which can boost productivity) and study in one of those libraries
  • Do practice problems and take notes on how you did them (steps, thought process, formulas, etc.). Don’t forget to check your work with an answer key!
  • FYE students: look for practice exams for your FYE classes—there are tons of them that you can find online, or even get from upperclassmen
  • Weekly Joys has exams to practice with (visit
  • Network with upperclassmen
    • Your SWisters have endless insights they’d love to share with you
  • Go through your lecture notes after class and highlight important information
    • When doing homework, you can also highlight what information from the notes was particularly helpful
  • Read (or skim) the sections in the book. Reading the textbook is NOT overrated, and it doesn’t take as long as you might expect
  • Check out the “Practice another version” (if available) and “My Class Insights” tabs in Webassign for extra practice problems and information about topics you might want to spend extra time studying
    • You can also check out the “Past Assignments” tab, where there may be extra help available to you on problems from assignments that are past due
  • If your professor posts a practice exam, take it under exam conditions (quiet, timed, etc.) to accurately see how well prepared you are for the real exam
  • Put your phone away so you’re not distracted. Isolate yourself.
    • Put it on airplane mode, use a timer that locks your phone, or get the Pocket Points app, and earn points (for coupons) while your phone is not being used
  • Reward yourself! (my personal preference is to reward myself with food, but to each her own)
  • Take study breaks! They will help you to focus better while you’re studying
  • Sure, coffee and tea can really help get you through study sessions, but the healthiest thing you can be drinking is water, so don’t forget to bring a water bottle to your study sessions
  • Take care of yourself! Don’t forget to get good sleep around exam time. Your brain works best after a good night’s sleep

We hope you find these tips to be helpful. Good luck with exams! We believe in you!

-Your SWE Communications Committee


Exam Season

With the semester well on its way, exams may start piling up. As an incoming freshman, realizing all the resources you have around you may be hard, but we have some advice for you. Even if you aren’t a freshman, this may help introduce you to new information you previously did not know.

1. S.I. Sessions

For starters, many freshman-level classes have S.I. (Supplemental Instruction) sessions you can attend. These sessions are taught by upperclassmen who review the material taught in class. This is an amazing resource to use if you feel uncomfortable with the material taught in class because it allows you more one-on-one interaction with the instructor to ask clarifying questions. Even if you haven’t attended a single S.I. session so far in the semester, it can still be extremely beneficial to attend some on the week of finals to help review all the information that will be on the exams.

2. Finding a Study Space

Finding a space where you enjoy and feel comfortable studying in is very important. Some places you may want to consider checking out are:

  • Krach Leadership Center – There are many group study rooms in you want to get together with a study group, or individual tables to work at on your own. The hours go pretty late, so you can stay up studying for nights when your roommate wants to go to bed early.
  • URSC – The URSC is located in the basement of Shreve. It is similar to Krach, where there are group study rooms as well as individual desks. However, just be prepared for more of a rush than Krach because it is all one one floor; Krach is spread out over multiple floors.
  • Hicks Undergrad Library – Hicks is open 24/7 to Purdue University students. Its “main floor” contains a cafe area where there are a lot of booths and group table environments to work . When you enter the main Hicks floor, there is a variety of seating to chose from. The further back you go, the quieter it tends to be. There are many group study rooms located at the far wall of this floor. There is also a sub-basement which tends to be a lot quieter and contains many large classrooms if you are planning on working with larger study groups.
  • HSSE – HSSE is another library located inside of Stewart Center. Its hours aren’t as long as Hicks but it tends to be a nice and quiet place to study if you prefer working during the day rather than later at night. The higher up you go in this library the quieter it gets. During exam season, however, it’s kind of hard to find a space so be sure to go in early and save a spot!
  • Classrooms – You may have to check timings on specific buildings but a great place to study is random classrooms throughout campus. I have gone to Beering and Wetherill during finals last year and found an empty classroom and just studied there. It’s great because it tends to be very quiet, and you can use the boards to write down notes and review HW problems.
  • Cafes – Finally, you can always go to different cafes around campus like Greyhouse, Vienna, and the Starbucks on Third Street. These are all great places to go if you tend to work better with noise and movement around you rather than complete silence.

3. Office Hours

Your professors and TAs are here to help you and want to watch you succeed so please go to them if you are really struggling to grasp the material during lecture. This is the perfect opportunity to get one on one help and ask those questions you were too scared to ask during lecture. You can also bring a friend with you if you feel intimidated to go alone.

4. Study Groups

Create study groups with people in your classes. Chances are, people are struggling with a course just as much as you are, and this gives you a chance to help each other learn. GroupMe is a great app to use while creating study plans and asking other people for homework questions. A great study tactic is teaching someone else the material; if you can successfully teach someone how to do something, it means you understand it. This could be an opportunity to teach others things you are comfortable with and learn from others as well.

5. Get Rest and Eat Healthy

I know, I know, you’ve probably heard it a thousand of times before, but it is very important to get some rest the night before an exam. I know it may seem that cramming for an exam the night before is the way to go, but you won’t be giving yourself time to let the material sink in. Instead, create a schedule a week or two in advance to cover all the material over the spam of time rather than all at once. This will give you more time to digest the information and to go to someone for help if you are having a hard time understanding a concept. Also, be sure you aren’t skipping meals; it’s important to be well rested and healthy before an exam, and you won’t perform well if you are sick.

-Roselin Bains