For most people that very thought of exams is enough to get their heart racing. The thoughts that cause the most anxiety are either: “I haven’t studied enough yet!” or “I don’t remember anything I’ve studied!” Well we’ve come up with some great study tips and techniques to get you through your exams.
1. Develop helpful routines
Sporadic studying or last minute cramming is generally the result of a chaotic life where you leave everything to the last minute. This approach can be very stressful and can put you in an unhelpful state just before your exams. Instead we recommend planning your weeks leading up to an exam period. Block out the days or afternoons that you have to study each subject. Write down your study plan on a calendar to keep you on track.
2. Team up.
If you struggle with routine and structure, team up with someone whose academic ability you admire and make a time to study together at least once a week. Be careful of who you choose to team up with – it’s not time to catch up on the goss or whinge about how stressed you are. If you can find the right person, you will find that having someone sitting with you studying will keep you focused on your work for longer.
3. Be creative
Work out how you learn best and use creative techniques that work best for you. If you are a visual learner make big colourful infographs to stick on your walls. If you learn best aurally, read your notes our loud or make up some memorable songs with your notes. You could do all of these and more to keep your mind stimulated.
4. Summarise text
Summarise large chunks of text from texts books or handouts rather than just copying information verbatim. Writing summaries requires you to properly understand the information in order to distill and communicate the most important information from the text.
5. Do some practice exam papers
Ask your teacher for sample papers from previous years to practice with. Sample exams will help you to see the format of the exams that you’ll be completing and they will give you the opportunity to see how quickly you need to work to complete the exam in time. Time yourself completing each exam.
6. Teach someone
One of the best ways to cement knowledge in your mind is to impart it to someone else. This could be a friend or someone in your class that may need help with their own study. If you can’t find someone appropriate in your classes, teach your parents, guardians or grandparents if you can teach them.
7. Study in 40min blocks
After about 40minutes most people find their attention starts to drift. It may be longer for you, or it may be shorter. The important thing is that when you feel like the information is not going in anymore, you should take a quick break. Make yourself a healthy snack, get a glass of water or just have a stretch. This will give you a mental break and you’ll find that you’re able to focus better when you sit back down to your notes.
8. Keeps healthy
Go for walks, swims and do lots of stretching. Eat well. Get lots of rest. We know all the shoulds and should nots, but when it’s crunch time you’ll be glad you made the effort to stay on top of things. Keeping fit and healthy will help you to avoid getting sick or fatigued during your exam time. Exercise can also help with relieving stress and anxiety, keeping you in the right mindset to power through your papers.