Ahhh, Exams… the vain of my existence and the reason for Intellecquity! I have been there, we have all been there! Was I any good at exams? no, definitely not. What can I offer? Everything! What I wish I knew earlier, is what I am going to show you. Want the best chance to ace your exams? With these top tips for study, you can! BUT… try to avoid procrastination… Remember: How to avoid procrastination?
Organize your study space
Make sure you have enough space to spread your textbooks and notes out. Have you got enough light? Is your chair comfortable? Are your computer games out of sight? Have you turned your phone to Flight Mode?
Get rid of all distractions, and make sure you feel as comfortable as possible. For some people, this may mean almost complete silence, for others, background music helps. Some of us 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.
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 a topic – and 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.
Practice on old exams
My favorite & one of the most effective ways to prepare for exams is to practice taking past versions. This helps you get used to the format of the questions, and – if you time yourself – can also be good practice for making sure you spend the right amount of time on each section. Majority of the time, colleges are so lazy that they will re-use questions from previous exams with different figures. If you practice past exams, you are very likely to understand the basic methodologies used and can replicate them for your exam coming up.
Explain your answers to others
Parents and little brothers and sisters don’t have to be annoying around exam time. Use them to your advantage. Explain an answer to a question to them. Hell, even teach your friends how to do certain questions, that will help you to get it clear in your head, and also to highlight any areas where you need more work. My suggestion is do a group exercise where you each have to teach the rest of the group how to do a question. This way each of you become “experts” and can replicate it in exams, even better, do rotations between each other to create repetition of learning about the subjects or questions.
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 make sure you stay focused on the topic for an agreed amount of time, this can be one of the most effective ways to challenge yourself.
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’s different, so develop a study routine that works for you. If you study better in the morning, start early before taking a break at lunchtime. Or, if you’re more productive at nighttime, take a larger break earlier on so you’re ready to settle down come evening.
Try not to feel guilty about being out enjoying the sunshine instead of hunched over your textbooks. Remember Vitamin D is important for a healthy brain.
Drink plenty of water
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.
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 really have an impact on energy levels and focus, so keep away from junk food. Keep your body and brain well-fueled, by choosing nutritious foods that have been proven to aid concentration and memory, such as fish (fish oil), nuts, seeds, yogurt and blueberries. The same applies on exam day – eat a good meal before the test, based on foods that will provide a slow release of energy throughout. Sugar may seem appealing, but your energy levels will crash an hour later.
Plan your exam day
Make sure you get everything ready well in advance of the exam – don’t leave it to the day before to suddenly realize you don’t know the way, or what you’re supposed to bring. Check all the rules and requirements, and plan your route and journey time. If possible, do a test run of the trip. If not, write down clear directions.
Give yourself enough time to study
Don’t leave it until the last minute. While some students do seem to thrive on last-minute cramming, it’s widely accepted that (for most of us, if not all 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 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.
Thank you! And Remember, never freak out or worry! You will be fine. If you need some help or a little assistance with any Math related questions, download our app Intellecquity.