Exam Strategies for Students

Exam Strategies for Students

Exam Strategies for Students

PUBLISH DATE 27th March 2020

All of us are aware of the stress and panic that comes with the word exam. Sometimes it’s so much that we can’t seem to concentrate on the reason we are stressed in the first place - studying. Stress concerning the amount of syllabus, not knowing concepts, not having enough time to study or revise the topics, not being able to remember even after studying and it keeps going on. Exams are inevitable for students, but they can be less painful. To relieve ourselves from unnecessary stress and panic we can follow certain steps:

Give yourself enough time to study

Try to not leave anything until the eleventh hour. To help with time management, create a timetable for your study. Write down the number of exams you've got and also the days on which you've got to answer them. Then organize your study accordingly. You may want to offer some exams more study time than others, so find a balance that you simply feel comfortable with.

Organize your study space

Make sure you've got enough space to spread your textbooks and notes out. Try and eliminate all distractions, and ensure you are feeling as comfortable and ready to focus as possible. For some people, this might mean almost complete silence, for others, background music helps. Some of us need everything completely tidy and arranged to concentrate, while others thrive in a more cluttered environment. Think about what works for you, and take the time to get it right.

Use flow charts and diagrams

Visual aids can be really helpful when revising. Drawing diagrams will assist you to visualize information which might be hard to explain. This creates a visual memory in your mind which may be recalled in an exam. Closer to the exam, condense your revision notes into one-page diagrams. Getting your ideas down in this brief format can then assist you to quickly recall everything you would like to understand during the exam.

Practice on old exams

One of the foremost effective ways to prepare for exams is to practice taking past versions. This helps you get accustomed to the format of the questions, and - if you time yourself – it may also be good practice for making sure you spend the right amount of time on each section.

Explain your answers to others

Explain an answer to a question to your parents or siblings. That will help you to get it clear in your head, and also highlight any areas you need more work on.

Organize study groups with friends

Get together with friends for a study session. You may have certain questions that they have the answers to and vice versa. But as long as you make sure you stay focused on the topic for an agreed amount of time, this can be one of the most effective ways to challenge yourself.

Take regular breaks

While you will think it is best to study for as many hours as possible, this will be counterproductive. Studies have shown that for long-term retention of information, taking regular breaks helps. Everyone's different, so develop a study routine that works for you. If you study better in the morning, start early before taking time off at lunchtime. Or, if you're more productive at night-time, take a bigger break earlier on so you're able to settle in the coming evening.

Snack on brain food

Keep your body and brain well-fuelled by choosing nutritious foods that are proven to help concentration and memory, like fish, nuts, seeds, yogurt, and blueberries. The same applies on exam day - eat a decent meal before the test, based on foods that will provide a slow release of energy throughout. Sugar could seem appealing, but your energy levels will crash an hour later.

Plan your exam day

Make sure you get everything ready well before the exam - don't leave it to the day before to suddenly realize you do not know the way, or what you're supposed to bring. Check all the rules and requirements, and plan your route and journey time.

Drink plenty of water

Remember that being well hydrated is important for your brain to function at its best. Make sure you continue drinking lots of water throughout your revision, and also on the exam day.

One tip that has helped me study better is - Speak Out Loud Instead of Simply Reading

Although this might make you look a bit crazy, give it a try. You will be surprised by how much more you'll be able to remember when you’ve said it aloud. This is one way that helped me remember the study material more efficiently. I would simply find a nice quiet corner in the house and start studying by saying it out loud. When you study by reading aloud, your sense of hearing becomes a part of the experience. It triggers cognitive abilities associated with memory, attention, and comprehension. Then this activates your ability to store and retain information.

So, there you have it – preparing yourself in the above-mentioned ways will help you comprehend in a better way as well as relieve stress that comes with exams.


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