Exams can be extremely daunting, but they don’t have to be! Getting into the right study habits can make all the difference when ensuring success. Give yourself the best chance with these study tips!
1. Give yourself enough time to study. It’s easy push off studying, however last-minute cramming is usually not the best way to approach an exam. Avoid pulling all-nighters by creating a study schedule to organize your time. You may want to give some exams more study time than others, so find a balance that you feel comfortable with.
2. Log off. This might be the most obvious tip but hardest to achieve. Extensions such as StayFocused, SelfControl or Cold Turkey can temporarily block time-wasting websites to help minimize your distractions.
3. Speak out loud instead of simply reading. This may sound weird, but you’d be surprised how much more you can remember when you’ve said it out loud. Studies show that speaking out loud versus just reading or writing your notes can improve your memory.
4. Sort out what you don’t understand. Clarify the meaning of any words or concepts you don’t understand before trying to study them. If you aren’t clear about what information means, memorizing it won’t help. Additionally, prioritize the hardest subjects first in each study session.
5. Form a study group. Connect with other students to form 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.
6. Test yourself. Whether you’re using good ol’ fashion flash cards or using testing websites such as GoConqr, teaching yourself the material is one of the best ways to know the content.
7. Take a break! Don’t overwork yourself. 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 in the evening. Try not to feel guilty enjoying some sunshine instead of hunching over your notes.
8. Doze off. It can be tempting to stay up all night trying to memorize everything in your textbook, but all-nighters rarely get you an A. In the days leading up to the exam, aim to get seven to nine hours a night so sleep deprivation doesn’t undo all the hard work you’ve put in.
9. Eat 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 stay away from junk food. Keep your brain and body fueled by choosing nutritious foods such as fish, nuts, seeds, yogurt and blueberries. Try some of these study snacks this exam season.
10. Learn what works. Some people are early birds, some are night owls; some prefer to study with a pal, others need complete and total silence. Experiment to find what’s most effective for you, then stick with it!
Best of luck!