No matter how old we get, examinations will always stress out. Whether you are in high school, college or a grad student, exams are a part of everyone’s life. It is a universal truth that all exams are nerve-wracking even for students who get straight A’s and have a high GPA. Many students take exams intensely and get stressed out days before resulting in them scoring lower than they are capable of. Even if we love the subject, understand and remember all the lessons perfectly or our teacher has prepared us well for it, exams have a way to freak everyone out. However, we have gathered the perfect exam tips to help every student out and make sure they do their best.
Don’t Wait till the Last Minute to Study
Many students feel that cramming the whole syllabus in the night before is an efficient way to pass exams. While this trick may work for some, it is not the best way to prepare. You should be more organized and definitely start preparing a lot earlier than the night before an exam. Draft up a schedule for your studying by balancing how much time you need for each subject and then prepare accordingly. This would help you study in the most organized way and prevent any late-night cramming sessions.
Organize Your Studying Space
Before you start studying for an exam, make sure your study environment is organized. Remove any distractions from around you and create a comfortable space because you will be spending a lot of time there. Some people prefer a clean space to help them focus while others work best in a cluttered environment. Organize your studying area depending on what keeps you motivated, awake, focused, and driven. Make sure you prepare for studying for a few hours because exam preparation takes a long time.
Use Visual Aids
What is meant by visual aids is the use of diagrams and flowcharts. Once you have learned and understood the concepts of a lesson, sketch a diagram or flowchart based off it. Our brains retain visual memories better and more than something we just read or memorized through words. Pictures and colors will help you memorize things better making sure you can recall the specific details later on during the exam. You can condense the details and highlights of a lesson into one flowchart that will help keep things clear for you in your head.
Utilize Old Tests for Practice
One of the best ways to prepare for exams is to practice on older test papers. By using this method, you can become used to the pattern of the questions easily. Sometimes, questions or problems are even repeated in different forms. You can use this technique to practice timing yourself. The more you practice, the more you will get used to doing the answers in the given time and by the time the exam rolls around you will not have a problem finishing on time.
Be Vocal About It
When you have memorized or practiced your answers, start saying them out loud. You can ask a friend or family member to help you out but if you cannot find anyone just practice it on yourself in a mirror. Once you start being vocal and explaining your answers or the reasoning behind it, your brain would retain it faster and better. Saying things out loud helps you remember them for a long time. If it seems right written down but doesn’t sound okay when you explain it out loud, then you can tweak and change it till it does.
Study as a Group with Friends
It may sound distracting but studying with a group of friends is actually quite helpful. Study sessions allow for ideas and explanations to pass around. You and your friends could help each other by discussing problems that one or some of you might have. You can also exchange notes and practice your answers on each other. As long as you keep focused on the task, these study sessions can be extremely helpful in letting you practice for the exams. Gather your group of friends or classmates of the same class and set a place to meet at. Doing these sessions in the library is the best choice since all the reference material you could need is present.
Give Yourself a Break
What most students think is that studying for hours on end will help them ace their exams. However, according to experts, your brain retains knowledge better if you take breaks in between. Studying for a long time without any break can even have adverse effects and make you forget what you already know. Since everyone has their own preferences, plan out when studying is the most effective for you then take a break before or after a few hours. Go out and enjoy the sun or watch a movie to get your mind to relax. Going back to studying after your mind is refreshed you will be able to memorize lessons better and be more awake.
Load Up on Snacks
When we suggest loading up on snacks we do not mean junk food like chips, burgers, or sodas. Loading up on fattening and sugary snacks could be detrimental as they would lower your energy in a few hours. There are nutritious snacks that you can eat such nuts, yogurt, fruits, seeds etc. These foods help improve your memory and focus. Forgetting to eat during studying is harmful because you need to keep your energy levels up.
Remaining hydrated is always recommended whether you are a student preparing for exams or not. Keeping yourself hydrated will keep your energy levels up throughout the day and keep you focused. Throughout the preparation for your examinations, make sure to drink lots of water so your brain can keep working efficiently. Hydration is key to a fresh mind which is why you should remember to keep drinking water on the day of the exam as well.
Schedule the D-Day
Finally, the day of the exam arrives only for you to arrive late or get lost regarding the directions. To prevent disasters from happening on the day of your exam make sure to get your affairs in order days earlier. Check the rules and memorize them, know about what you should bring, figure out the directions and how long it will take to reach it. Arriving seconds before your exam starts could make your frazzled so make sure you are punctual and early. Get your things in order such as new writing materials with backups.