With final exams just around the corner, we are all eager to study smarter rather than harder. With that in mind, Jeannie provides you with 10 amazing exam tips to help you get to the top
1. GET ORGANISED
Getting organised is the best way students can save time while preparing for exams. There are three aspects to this:
- Notes – Condense all the information you need to prepare for the exam in one place. Having all your notes in one place and in easy access can save your life.
- Dedicated Study Place – It is always prudent to have a dedicated place to study which is equipped with everything you need to study. This conditions you to study whenever you sit there and primes your brain to concentrate on your work.
- Time Table – Once you have all your study material organised, it is time to organise your time. Just like a dedicated place to study, having a set time every day to study primes your brain and puts you in the mood to study.
2. PLAN AHEAD
Every single student has had that one night of last-minute preparation for an important exam and regretted it, only to repeat it. It is always better to plan ahead once you get your exam schedule and prepare a study schedule. This allows you to prioritise certain subjects and smartly organise your time. It might be unpleasant but it makes sense to dedicate more time to subjects you are struggling with. Also, tackling the least interesting subject first, when your concentration is high and then progressing to the most interesting will make things easier.
Despite the fact that schools generally operate from 8 am to 2 pm, everyone has a different time of the day at which their concentration is at its highest point. It could be at 5 in the evening or 2 in the morning. Once you have identified whether you are an early bird or a night owl or anything in between, setting a dedicated study time becomes much easier and you are able to use every minute efficiently.
4. STUDY TECHNIQUE
As with timing, every student has a specific study technique which suits them best. Broadly, there are two different categories of learners:
- Visual Learners – Visual Learners, as the name suggests, study best using visual cues. For these types of readers, highlighting and mind maps are the best mediums to study.
- Auditory Learners – Auditory Learners remember and understand what they hear best. For these learners, recording themselves and listening to recordings is the best way to study.
5. POMODORO TECHNIQUE
Spacing out study sessions into small chunks as opposed to cramming in long 10 hour sessions is always better. One technique developed by Francesco Cirillo is the Pomodoro Technique. This involves traditionally 25-minute study sessions separated by 5-minute breaks with every third break being 15-minutes long. This helps you grasp your content better without exhausting your brain. Of course, feel free to play around with the timings to find out what works best for you.
6. DEVELOP INTEREST
There is nothing better at killing motivation than a lack of interest and no better motivator than a genuine love for the material. Connecting what you are studying with your life helps develop interest because finding its relevance will make the content fascinating and help you grasp the concepts even better.
No matter your grasp of concepts and interest in the subject, some things have to be memorised and using flashcards is the best way to memorise small bits of information. Whether you prefer simple physical flashcards or virtual flashcards, which use spaced repetition software, they always help.
8. HACK AKRASIA
‘Akrasia’ is a term that dates back to Plato and means ‘lack of command over one’s self’. It is Akrasia that draws you from your Math practice to YouTube videos. One of the best time management techniques is to hack your Akrasia and avoid procrastination. So put your phone away and turn that laptop off.
9. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!
One of the best ways to succeed in any exam is to get your hands on past papers and practice in examination settings. Set a timer so that you are under the same time restriction that you would be in during the exam. This will help you familiarise yourself with the examination format and also help you realise how long you take to write every individual answer so that you will not run out of time on D-Day. It also trains your brain to retrieve rather than just recognise the information.
10. RELAXATION IS NOT A LUXURY
One simple fact that students tend to forget is that relaxation is not a luxury. It is a necessity, especially when you are preparing for examinations or your brain will be in a daze. Studying can be mentally exhausting and if you don’t give your brain some rest, it will burn out. But relaxation should not become procrastination. Ensure that you hack your Akrasia and relax in moderation. This is one of the best exam tips.
Make sure to inculcate these exam tips in your study routine so that you can gracefully ace your board examinations.
All the best!!