"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful," the Bible empathizes with us in Hebrews 12:11."
Many high school and college students live under the damaging assumption that studying for an exam necessarily has to mean that they will have the spend the few days and nights prior to the test cramming as much information into their brain as they feel it can possibly hold. While this study method may work for a small minority of students, it usually backfires for the rest of them. The truth is that doing well on an exam doesn't depend on how much you studied or how long you did it for, but on the quality of your studying method.
Pouring over your course materials for hours upon hours before a test can make you feel utterly drained by the time you need to sit down and write it. Quality studying, on the other hand, should leave you feeling refreshed rather than tired. It should be an attempt to cement everything you already knew about the course material beforehand, not an attempt to teach yourself everything all at once. Students who focus more on the quantity rather than the quality of their studies are often students who do not attend class or do not pay attention while they are there, and who do not keep up with the course material.
Developing a quality studying method happens well before exam time. It involves attending every class and being attentive and engaged with the course material while you are there. Why waste hours before the exam trying to teach yourself a concept you have never heard of before when you can simply go to class and learn about it by sitting there, listening to the instructor, taking good notes, and asking questions?
Keeping up with class homework and readings should also be considered studying, as it means you will have a lot less work to do when it comes time to study for the exam. If you've already familiarized yourself with the material, then your study sessions should be nothing more than a review which is intended to cover the finer points and solidify the main points. It can be hard to stay on top of course material when you have other classes and a part-time job, but, if you prioritize your activities with a focus on school, then you will be able to find a way to keep up with it all.
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful," the Bible empathizes with us in Hebrews 12:11. "Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
Call this spiritually encouraging Bible verse to mind if you ever find yourself slacking and falling behind in your school work. God knows that hard work is often more painful than pleasant, but He also makes sure that the reward for our hard work will come to us later on. Focus on working hard in your classes every single day and you will never have to spend another caffeine-fueled night cramming for an exam.