How Studying for Exams Prepares You for Business
It’s almost finals time again! Doesn’t it feel like they sneak up on you again almost as soon as they’re over? No one can deny that exam times are stressful. It may feel like torture, but you pay for it, so you must get something out of it. They teach you life skills outside of the classroom. Studying for exams can prepare you for your future career, whether as an entrepreneur or working for a company. It may not be what you want to hear right now, but look for the upside and studying for exams might become a little more tolerable.
Taking Exams Improves Your Memory
Memorizing information isn’t the same as learning the content. However, you may find that simple memorization might get through a quiz. For instance, you might not fully understand the role that taxes played in the American Revolution, but if you can remember key dates and battles, you may get through an essay question by sounding like you know what you’re talking about. And you’re not just faking it…
Psychology Today explains how memorizing information temporarily can lead to fully understanding the concept later. They call this “The Spacing Effect,” the author Nate Kornell explains that one of the benefits of cumulative exams is that time that passes between hearing the information and relearning it at the end. The retention rate for, say, a math formula or a philosophical theory is much higher when you’ve let the concept slip and come back to it a second time for the final.
Studying Requires Time Management
Do you procrastinate about studying for exams? Doing so probably increases your stress level, right? (Be honest.) Even if you’re star cruncher, you simply need enough time to review and comprehend all of the concepts. If you think that’s stressful, wait until you’re trying to prepare a presentation for a potential investor with just hours left.
Now is a great time to learn better time management. It comes naturally to some. Others might need to reach out for help or try different techniques. By practicing good time management, you can master this crucial skill and use it in your career. Here’s a brief list of ways you can improve your own time management right now:
- Track how much time you spend on a task.
- Consider whether or not the time you’re spending is productive.
- Recognize when you are wasting time and remove the distraction.
- Recognize when you are being productive.
- Break down your studying into smaller chunks.
- Schedule time for each task.
- Build in time for things to go off schedule in case something unexpected happens.
By practicing these essential skills, you will learn to stay top of your workload rather than let it bury you. Even if you end up getting behind in the office, you’ll know how to prioritize and get things back on track. Just remember how satisfying it is to cross an item off your to-do list!
Exams Give You Practice Performing Under Pressure
Even for the most organized student, sometimes there’s just no getting away from the pressure of doing well on exams. Every profession has its deadlines and its clients who want answers right away. Learning how to cope with studying while also balancing a job, a social life, hobbies, and possibly running your own business, will pay off.
Then there’s the pressure of actually sitting down to take the exam. This experience invigorates some students while giving others crippling anxiety. If you fall into the latter category seek advice from a counselor or someone else versed in addressing this very real problem. Either way, your brain works a bit differently in that high-pressure environment than when you work at your own pace. Learn how to handle it and what to expect from yourself for when you face pressure situations in the workforce.
Exams Make You Explain Complex Ideas
If your favorite testing method is multiple choice, you are far from alone. As much as you might not like to think about it, short answer questions and essays can be hugely beneficial to your future career. Developing your ideas in writing shows that you fully comprehend the subject matter. Later in your career, you may need to convince a customer to buy your product or explain why your invention stands to change the world. If you work in science or technology, especially, you will need to translate esoteric ideas into plain language. Exams offer great practice.
Exams might seem like a pain at the moment, but they’re more than just showing the professor that they’ve done their job. Preparing for exams prepares you for life outside of college. These skills will stick with you for the rest of your life. Making the most of them will help you position yourself as a great business person.