Study Tips » Study tips to ace your exams
Study tips to ace your exams
Exams round the corner? Getting stressed out?
The key to preparing well for your exams is to study smart and to study hard. Given below are tips that will help you to do both.
When will you start studying for your exams? Not the night before; not even the week before. You have to start preparing for the exam at least a month before the actual exams start. This is assuming that you have all the material and notes ready for study.
Don’t try to study everything the night before the exam. It is not effective at all, since you will be taking in so much information at once that your brain will not be able to process it all. You will not remember anything and will be tired at the time of the exam the next day.
Make a schedule
Devise a schedule for your exam preparation. You can use online study planners or make one of your own. If you have five examinations, each one on a different subject, devote six days for each subject. So, in 30 days, you would have covered all your subjects. Make sure your first exam subject will be the last one in your schedule, so that you will be doing six days’ preparation prior to the first examination.
If a subject is particularly difficult for you, devote more time for it, and lessen the time given for your easy, or not so ‘heavy’ subjects. Also, if there are more chapters or topics in a particular book, give more time to it. Thus, adjust your time depending on your mastery of the subject and on how ‘heavy’ it is.
You can give time for breaks every 30 minutes in your exam preparation schedule. After about 30 minutes, go for a quick walk around the house or the place you are studying, then resume studying.
There are many sites online that will help you to chalk out your own schedule such as getrevising.
Make use of apps
Are you a technology-friendly student? If you are, there are several apps that will help you prepare for exams. Check them out. There are also apps for students that will help you organize your time, and avoid distractions. However, if you are likely to be distracted and surf the web the moment you have a tablet or smartphone in hand, do not use technology to help you study. It will only bring your grades down.
Get enough sleep
Not just during examinations, but all through your study life, get enough sleep. Your brain needs time to process and organize the information it receives, and it does it during sleep. Therefore ensure that you are getting enough sleep. If you get a good night’s rest, when you wake up in the morning, you will remember very clearly what you have been learning the previous night.
Therefore, do not burn the proverbial midnight oil the previous night of your exams!
Get enough nutrition
Eat nutritious food. The saying ‘a sound mind in a sound body’ is true. You are what you eat. Feed your body and brain with the right kind of food to boost mental and physical health. If you want to snack in between mealtimes, make sure you snack on brain food, such as walnuts, blueberries, dark chocolate and avocado.
Get enough exercise
Students often stop exercising and study all the time when it is exam time. This is a big mistake. At least for 30 minutes every day, you need to get up and walk, jog or swim. This helps to relieve your stress and anxiety about exams. Furthermore, it helps blood flow to your brain, which helps you think more clearly.
Teach someone else
After you have studied for your exam, or you think you have prepared well for your exam, try to teach the material you have learnt to someone who is entirely new to the topic. It could be a friend, or a family member who is willing to be your student. This teaching will make you be very clear about what you have learnt. It will also provide feedback to you on your own mastery of the topic.
This seems obvious. But you’d be surprised how often we overlook hydration. Drinking enough water is a necessity for the body and the mind for optimal functioning and clear thinking.
Review past year exam papers
Work through past year papers. You need to familiarize yourself with the wording of the questions and the marking system. Most schools do past year paper practice as part of their exam preparation, but if your school does not, you have to make it a priority.
Also, practice doing these papers under exam conditions, observing the time limit. Make sure that the examination format has not changed from that of the previous year.
The previous day of the exam......
Make sure you have all the material you need such as stationary, graph paper, Identity Card etc. Get them ready the previous night and place them on your table. Or else the next morning you will be wasting precious time searching for them.
Make sure of the time and venue. Also, make sure of a reliable means of getting there.
On the day of the exam……
On the day of the examination, wake up early. You should have a good breakfast but do not eat anything risky or anything that you have not eaten before. Leave home early. Do not get panicked by overstressed friends. Remember to visit the toilet before exam starts.
When you get your answer paper, remember to write your name or the ID number on the paper.
As you start your paper, if you are unsure about any question, do not spend too much time on it. It is better to leave it to the end, when you have finished answering all the others.
Finally, after you finish writing, review your answers before handing in the paper.
Above all, stay calm. You have done your revision well. You are prepared for the exam. There is no need to panic.
All the best!