Below are 10 study tips you can easily use to help you ace your exams:
1. Give Yourself Enough Time to Study
Do not leave studying until the last minute. While some students do seem to thrive on last-minute cramming, it is widely accepted that (for most of us) this is not the best way to approach an exam. To help sort out your time management, set up a timetable for your study. Write down how many exams you will have and the days on which you have to sit them. Then organize your study accordingly. You may want to give some exams more study time than others, so find a balance that you feel comfortable with.
2. Organize Your Study Space
Make sure you have enough space to spread your textbooks and notes out. Do you have enough light in your study area? Is your chair comfortable? Are your computer games and phone(s) out of sight?
Try to get rid of all distractions, and make sure you feel comfortable and that you are able to focus as much as possible. For some people, this may mean almost complete silence, for others, background music helps. Some individuals need everything completely tidy and organized in order to concentrate, while others thrive in a more cluttered environment. Think about what works for you, and take the time to get it right.
3. Use Flow Charts and Diagrams
Visual aids can be really helpful when revising. At the start of a topic, challenge yourself to write down everything you already know about the topic then highlight where the gaps lie. Closer to the exam, condense your revision notes into one page diagrams. Getting your ideas down in this brief format can then help you to quickly recall everything you need to know during the exam.
4. Practice with Past Papers
One of the most effective ways to prepare for exams is to practice with past papers. This helps you get familiar to the format of the questions, and – if you time yourself – it can also be good practice for making sure you spend the right amount of time on each section.
5. Explain Your Answers to Others
Parents and younger siblings don’t have to be a nuisance or a source of distraction around exam time, use them to your advantage. Explain an answer to a question to them; teach them some of the content that you are focusing on. That will help you to get it clear in your head, and also highlight any areas where you need more work.
6. Organize Study Groups with Friends
Get together with friends for a study session. You may have questions that they have the answers to and vice versa. As long as you ensure that you stay focused on the topic for an agreed amount of time, this can be one of the most effective ways to challenge yourself.
7. Take Regular Breaks
While you may think it’s best to study for as many hours as possible, this can actually be counterproductive. If you were training for a marathon, you wouldn’t try and run 24 hours a day. Likewise, studies have shown that for long-term retention of knowledge, taking regular breaks really helps.
Everyone is different, so develop a study routine that works for you. If you study better in the morning, go to bed earlier then start studying early the next day. Or, if you’re more productive at night time, settle down when you get home then start studying.
8. Snack on Brain Food
You may feel like you deserve a treat, or that you don’t have time to cook, but what you eat can have a significant impact on your energy levels and focus, so keep away from junk food. Keep your body and brain well-fueled by choosing nutritious foods, which have been proven to aid concentration and memory, such as fish, nuts, seeds, yogurt and blueberries. The same applies on an exam day – eat a good meal before the test (foods that will provide a slow release of energy throughout the day). Sugar may seem appealing, but your energy levels will crash an hour later.
9. Plan your Exam Day
Make sure you get everything ready in advance of the exam – don’t wait until the day before to suddenly realize you don’t know the location of your exams, or what you are supposed to bring. Check all the rules and requirements, and adhere to them.
Use your time wisely in order to arrive at least 30 minutes before your exam begins. You really don’t want to arrive tired having had to run halfway or feeling frazzled. You could also make plans to travel to the exam with friends or classmates, as long as you know they’re likely to be punctual.
10. Hydrate Yourself
Lastly, remember that being well hydrated is essential for your brain to work at its best. Make sure you keep drinking plenty of water throughout your revision, and also on the exam day.
Additional Study Tips
● Get a good start in class-pay attention and take good notes.
● Study in a quiet room.
● Turn off electronic devices when studying.
● Only play music if it helps you (instrumental musics are very good for the brain).
● Write a study guide.
● Review previous tests and assignments.
● Start studying as soon as possible.
● Stay motivated.
● Take breaks every 20 to 30 minutes.
● Get enough sleep the night before.
● Eat a healthy breakfast and bring a snack.