Should I Skip Class to Study for a Test? The Answer is…


We all have been in the same situation. A situation where you are not prepared for your test, and you want to cram the day of the exam, but there’s one problem. The problem is that you have a class before the exam. You know that it’s not good to skip class, but the test seems like the priority. The question becomes, should you skip class study for the exam?

The answer to the question of whether you should skip class to study for a test depends on a couple of variables:

  • How well are you doing in the course you’re about to miss?
  • How far behind you are on being ready to take the exam.

In my opinion, unless you are totally behind on getting ready for the exam, you should attend class rather than skip it. In this blog post, we will cover the pros and cons asked of skipping a class to prepare for a test to see whether it makes sense in your situation.

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If you are looking for the best study tools out there, you should read our article on the best study tools to enhance your studying at the link below:

The Ultimate Study Tools You Must Use to Succeed!

Advantages of Skipping Class to Study for your Test

There are a couple of advantages that you will gain if you choose to skip the class to focus on your test. The main one is that you have extra time during that day to study for the test. In college, generally, your grade is purely based on your test scores. As such, the exam does take priority over attending a class, unless the class is covering something essential.

Another advantage of skipping the classes is that it allows you to be fresher to take the test. Skipping the class before your exam allows your brain to be clear of any prior knowledge related content before walking in to take the exam. Ideally, you want to be fresh with a clear mind when you take an exam. You don’t wish to have lingering thoughts of other concepts that are not generally related to the content that will be on your test. 

Disadvantages of Skipping Class to Study for your Test

The main disadvantage of skipping the class is that you missed the class content and lecture. There is a saying about robbing Peter to pay Paul, and if you skip class to prepare for the exam in another course, that is what you are doing. The last thing you want to do is create a new problem in a different course, trying to fix the problem you have in the original course. 

The second disadvantage is that it allows you to make it okay to miss class because you’re not prepared. This line of thinking is a slippery slope. Once you skip class once, it is much easier to skip it a second and third time. The last thing you want to do is start created bad habits for yourself in terms of class attendance as it tends to snowball into poor academic performance. Once you start digging a hole for yourself, it can be challenging to get out of that hole. Choosing to skip your course for the day to take your exam requires you to be responsible and disciplined in the future to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

If you are genuinely stuck and feel like you have no other recourse but to skip the class, you should check out my blog post how to study last minute effectively, which is linked below:

How to Study at the Last Minute Effectively

How to Prepare for an Exam, so You Don’t Have to Skip Class

I realize that you may feel like this section doesn’t apply to you as most likely you are Google searching this article because you’re at the last minute and feeling desperate. It is easy to focus on immediate needs and forget about long-term goals. However, I would like to believe that you don’t want to feel this feeling that you’re feeling right now ever again if you could avoid it.

That means learning how to prepare yourself consistently. As I referenced earlier, I’ve written a couple of articles on this, but let me give you the crib notes version. In my opinion, the biggest thing you need to know how to do is to take thorough notes in class. The reason why I believe this so ardently is that if you have a great set of notes, the amount of time you need to prepare for your exam is reduced. If you have structured, detailed notes that cover the concepts you’re attempting to learn, this will reduce the friction that you typically see what you’re trying to prepare for the exam.

There are a lot of great note-taking systems out there, and you should check out each one to see which one fits for you and how you work. The one that I use, however, is the Cornell Note-Taking Method. The Cornell Note-Taking method is a very structured system of taking notes that enables you to review your notes quickly and thoroughly. I have personally used the Cornell system for years, and it continues to amaze me by how well it works in my learning workflow.

As you might have guessed by now, I have written an article on how to use the Cornell note-taking method to improve your note-taking process. The article can be found at the link below:

How to Use the Cornell Note-Taking Method

Summary

Preparing yourself adequately for exams is a crucial skill to have in college. The recommended approach is to study a little bit every day to ensure that you learn the concepts at a deeper level. I have an article that covers 25 essential tips studying effectively, which you can access at the link below:

25 Study Tips to Improve Academic Performance

I am not here to judge you. I realize that there are times when, for whatever reason or reasons, you are unable to prepare adequately for your exam. This feeling of unpreparedness can lead to stress and anxiety that gradually increases as you get closer and closer to the exam date. On the day of the exam, you may feel like the only option you have is to skip the course to cram. As I said earlier, I really believe this is an option of last resort. 

If you are in a situation where today is the day of your exam and you don’t feel prepared, make the best decision for you. There is no judgment as long as you learn the lesson. Check out my article about studying at the last minute that I linked to earlier for tips on how to prepare. I would also recommend that you check out the Cornell Note-Taking Method article as it shows you how to structure your notes in a way to make studying quicker and simpler. This note-taking structure will benefit you in the long run as you will have a consistent template for your notes that will significantly reduce the time it takes for you to get up to speed on the concepts you are trying to learn. 

I hope that this article was a help to you and that it, along with some of the other articles I recommended, enable you to do well on your exam. Good luck!

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