Study and exams are stressful at the best of times, we all know that. The pressure to succeed is something that affects us all; in life, school and specifically when it comes to final exams. Especially if your last exams didn’t go so well and you’re dealing with the pre-established fear and burden that it has left behind.
So, when it comes to studying for exams a good strategy is half the battle; knowing how to divide your time and energy to get the best outcome. To assist we’ve prepared some simple and effective tactics to help you knuckle down and change your game plan.
Know when each of your exams are being held.
This helps to prioritise and ensures you leave enough time before each exam to revise all the necessary course content. And it’s always helpful to have a visual reminder to aid your preparation. A solid study schedule like this will also allow for your study to be scheduled in conjunction with any other school or life commitments.
Feel free to download the study schedule below.
Are you spending prolonged periods of time pouring over the same content?
Be time savvy. One of the biggest mistakes is leaving everything until the last minute and spending prolonged periods of time pouring over the same content, helplessly cramming. Simply put, this exhausts our mental resources and leads to brain fatigue. So, why not stick to short, succinct study blocks of one to two hours, with scheduled breaks in between – remember there is a reason that schools, universities and even work days are structured on similar two hourly intervals.
We are creatures of habit, so why not use this to your advantage and plot a study routine? We’ve included another handy ‘study schedule’ for you to map your allocated subjects and timeframes over a series of days and weeks. By doing this you create an organised commitment to study, which is then validated by the actions of gradually moving through the allocated study blocks. Using colour codes and highlights is another handy way to differentiate between the content and timeframes.
Schedule the more difficult subjects first
Know your weaknesses. We’ve all got subjects that we struggle with more than others. So why not schedule the more difficult subjects first and use the more favoured subjects to end the day on a high note. This approach not only allows us to nut out the difficult content when we are fresh but also helps to keep the motivation high throughout the day.
Keeping it positive
Keep it positive and simplified. Know what you need to learn and find creative ways to help keep your mind engaged. The digital age offers an expanse of great alternatives for learning and motivation. From apps, video, music, images and interactivity, so why not enrich your learning process this way? – even if it is just using acronyms or listening to music to keep a present focus.
Time for a break
Scheduling breaks and ‘reward time’ is just as important during such intense periods of study. Getting a coffee with a friend, taking the dog for a walk, doing a gym class or attending small social gatherings are good ways to ensure a steady and healthy balance. This not only creates something to look forward to, but gives the mind a break from intense concentration, helping to neutralise the over whelming feelings that often surround exam study.
Take care of yourself. Remember to keep hydrated and eat well; regular healthy, high protein snacks are ideal for ensuring energy levels remain regular and constant. And of course rest is absolutely vital – be sure to wind down, try some meditation or take a bath. Remember that decent sleep ensures your hard work pays off and although it might be tempting to keep studying long into the night, during sleep is when the brain sorts and retains the information you need to ace your exams.
Tips from Emma Joy.