The thought of sitting for your exams can be stressful. Simply thinking about the material you are required to know, understand and master can leave you feeling helpless. But with the right techniques, strategies and study tips, you can sufficiently and effectively prepare in the weeks and months leading up to your exams.
In this blog, we list some methods on how you can study for exams and confidently sit for your exams.
How do you ensure you are fully prepared for your exams?
1. Organise your desk
A cluttered desk can be a distraction when you’re trying to study, so it’s important to keep your workspace clean and organised. Having a designated spot for all of your study materials will help you stay focused and on track. Make sure to keep any distractions, like your phone or TV, out of sight so you can stay focused on your work.
2. Create a study schedule and distribute your learning
One of the most important things that you can do when studying for exams is to create a study schedule. This will help you to use your time efficiently and ensure that you are covering all of the material that you need to know.
As opposed to cramming a few days before an exam, adopt an effective strategy that involves “distributed practice” – spacing your learning over the term. This is where you regularly and consistently go through the topics every few days. During each block of time dedicated to studying this module, go through what you learnt during your last study session before delving into new material. This reinforces what you have previously learnt. Consistency requires perseverance and pushing through when it gets difficult or dreary.
3. Actively engage and use retrieval practise
Passive, repetitive reading can be ineffective in internalising course material, and can quickly lead to forgetting. Instead of simply memorising chunks of text or highlighting and underlining phrases – try engaging with the material. Do this by making connections between different concepts from various topics, organising the information, making concept maps or relating it to examples.
Another effective strategy that aids long-term retention through retrieval practice. Once you have read the material once or twice, put away your notes and textbook and write down everything you can recall on a blank sheet of paper. After, compare what you have written with your notes and analyse where you have gaps in your understanding. This improves the effectiveness of your learning.
4. Rest well and eat right
Another important tip is to get plenty of rest. Make sure to include breaks in your schedule so that you can relax and recharge. When you are tired, it is difficult to focus and learn new information. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep before your exams so that you are well-rested and ready to study.
It is also important to eat healthy foods during exam season. Foods like fruits and vegetables can help improve your concentration and memory. Avoid sugary and fatty foods as they can make you feel sluggish. On the day of the exam, eat a healthy breakfast. A nutritious breakfast will help to give you energy and keep your brain functioning at its best. Think of yourself as an athlete gearing up to run a marathon. As an athlete would, take care of your body and mind and ensure that you can perform optimally.