The time has come for students across the country to sit for their exams. There is no denying that there ought to be some exam anxiety and maybe a touch of the exam blues here and there, because I mean, national exams are kind of a big deal! I have been through four series of exams myself and I am currently sitting for my A Level examinations. Allow me to help you out a bit and give you 5 of the best tips on how to study effectively. Let us begin:
1.Revision And Practice Are Essential
It’s usually tempting to keep studying off until the night before an exam. My advice; DON’T! It helps to start your revision a good two months before exams. That way you get your mind used to thinking in line with that subject. Most of the subjects I do require a lot of application and an overwhelming amount of practice to get right.
Exhibit A: Accounting. Imagine if I had to cram all my accounting formulae and concepts 24 hours prior to my exam, it would be a disastrous plan, a major red flag if you may. So it helps to divide my chunk of work into sizeable mini-topics to be covered by certain days. I do this so that all the major revision would be done at least a week before an exam. Essentially all that would be left is a little practice some days before.
2. You Need Your Sleep
So, “I will have plenty of time to sleep after exams are done, let me study all night and get only 2 hours of sleep”…this is what a lot of students (including myself at some point) think, and it is totally wrong. Your body and brain need time to rest and sort out all the information you got from your studying. So give it time to do that. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling groggy and that is your mind telling you ‘I can’t take this anymore’! Plan your revision right, that way you will not need to spend the night before your exam trying to get in as much information as possible. That path hardly ever works. Simply put, be nice to yourself and get enough sleep.
3. Stay Away From Your Bed
The mind works by association, it links your dining room with food, it sees your living room as a place to relax and watch TV, and your bed? Well you guessed it; your brain relates it to sleep! In the same way your study table will be linked with studying. Never study on your bed because you will fall asleep. Respect your space and sit up on your study desk if you are going to study. Your study area should have all the essentials, your stationery, books and some water (so you have absolutely no excuse to leave). What it should not have, is your phone, computer or magazines. You could get caught up in those and do very little ‘actual studying’. This can also mean studying at a relaxed place like a coffee shop (if you need to get away from your bed that bad)!
4. Get Up And Walk Around
You can only concentrate and get information in for a specific period of time, after that your mind is exhausted so you need to get up and get some fresh air. How I do this is I sit down to study for 45 minutes and then stand up and go around our boarding house for about 3 minutes. That way I can do about two and a half hours of studying at a time. You need to take periodic breaks just to re-focus your mind. Be sure not to get carried away.
5. Keep Healthy And Eat Well
Exams should not be a reason for you to stop playing your favorite sport or exercising, your brain needs the oxygen flow so keep doing it! A simple yoga or pilates session will suffice, and a gym membership will work even better. Watch what you eat, it is essential that you give your body fruits and vegetables and not packs of chips or fizzy drinks. That way you have all the energy you need to study.
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