Don’t put it off until the last minute. While some students appear to thrive on last-minute cramming, it is widely acknowledged that (for the majority of us), this is not the best way to approach an exam. Create a timetable for your studies to help you manage your time. Make a list of the exams you have and the dates you have to take them. Then plan your research accordingly. You may want to devote more study time to some exams than others, so strike a comfortable balance.
Organize your study space
Check that you have enough space to spread out your textbooks and notes. Do you have enough light? Is your chair relaxing? Are your computer games out of sight? Remove all distractions and make yourself as comfortable and able to focus as possible. Some people prefer complete silence, while others prefer background music. Some of us require a completely clean and organized environment in order to concentrate, whereas others thrive in a more cluttered environment. Consider what works best for you and take the time to get it right.
Use flow charts and diagrams
When revising, visual aids can be extremely beneficial. Challenge yourself at the start of a topic to write down everything you already know about it – and then highlight the gaps. Condense your revision notes into one-page diagrams closer to the exam. Putting your thoughts down in this concise format will allow you to quickly recall everything you need to know during the exam.
Practice on old exams
Taking previous versions of exams is one of the most effective ways to prepare for exams. This helps you get used to the format of the questions and, if timed, can also be good practice for ensuring you spend the appropriate amount of time on each section.
Explain your answers to others
Parents and younger siblings do not have to be bothersome during exam season. Take advantage of them. Explain to them the answer to a question. This will help you get it all straight in your head and will also highlight any areas where you need to improve.
Organize study groups with friends
Gather your friends for a study session. You may have questions for which they have answers, and vice versa. This can be one of the most effective ways to challenge yourself, as long as you stay focused on the topic for an agreed-upon amount of time.
Take regular breaks
While you may believe that studying for as many hours as possible is beneficial, this can actually be detrimental. You wouldn’t try to run 24 hours a day if you were training for a marathon. Similarly, studies have shown that taking regular breaks helps with long-term knowledge retention. Because everyone is different, create a study routine that works for you. Start early before taking a lunch break if you study better in the morning. If you’re more productive at night, take a longer break earlier in the day so you’re ready to relax in the evening. Try not to feel guilty for spending time outside instead of hunched over your textbooks. Remember that Vitamin D is essential for brain health.
Snack on brain food
You may believe that you deserve a treat or that you don’t have time to cook, but what you eat can have a significant impact on your energy levels and focus, so avoid junk food. Choose nutritious foods that have been shown to aid concentration and memory, such as fish, nuts, seeds, yogurt, and blueberries, to keep your body and brain well-fueled. On exam day, do the same thing: eat a good meal before the test, based on foods that provide a slow release of energy throughout. Sugar may seem appealing, but it will crash your energy levels an hour later.
Plan your exam day
Make sure you get everything ready well in advance of the exam – don’t leave it to the day before to suddenly realize you don’t know the way, or what you’re supposed to bring. Check all of the rules and requirements, and plan your route and travel time accordingly. Make a test run of the trip if possible. If not, write down specific instructions. Calculate the time it will take to get there, then add some extra time. You don’t want to arrive having had to run halfway or feeling exhausted from getting lost. You could also make plans to travel to the exam with friends or classmates if you know they’ll be on time.
Drink plenty of water
Finally, remember that staying hydrated is critical for your brain to function optimally. Drink plenty of water throughout your revision period, as well as on exam day. einsteineruploaded with. Sign up for a free site membership to receive regular updates as well as your own personal content feed. This article was first published in February 2008, and it was last updated in May 2017. This article was first published in November 2012. It was most recently updated in September 2022. Do you want more content like this? Sign up for a free site membership to receive regular updates as well as your own personal content feed.