Exam season is well and truly upon us!!!! While it's not the most exciting of times what comes afterwards potentially will be... Long hot summers, travel, your dream job? It's all ahead of you, once the dreaded exams are done and dusted!
We've put together a few suck study tips to get you on your way.
1- Find out what works for you - some people are early birds, some are night owls, some people prefer to study in sheer silence while others love to be surrounded by peers. Experiment and find out what works best for you. Then stick with it!
2- Give yourself enough time to study - Start as early as possible. Some people thrive on last minute cramming, but lets be real, it's not the ideal approach. Tipping away at revision can make life so much easier when you come back to material for the second time, you'd be surprised at how much you remember.
3- Organise your study space - make sure you have enough space to spread out your books and notes. Is there enough light? Is the seat comfortable? Without being too comfy of course, we don't need a lounge space! Make it a space that you like being in. Try to get rid of all distractions, for some this may mean complete silence, for others a busy coffee shop. Think about what works for you and stick with it. This trains your brain into focusing and preparing for study.
4- Practise previous exam questions and papers - this helps to get used to the format of the questions, the marking scheme and your time management techniques for the questions. If possible ask your lecturer or tutor to read over the exam questions and give feedback. This is not something to leave until the last minute. There's no reason why you can't begin preparing exam questions at the start of the year and hand them in for correction. Then come study season just whip them out and revise!
5- Use visuals, charts and diagrams - a picture paints a thousand words... Visual aids can be so helpful when revising. You will remember a colourful chart or image far before you recall a full paragraph of text. When writing notes use different colours for headings, examples and general text. They will stand out and help you to focus your ideas and thoughts. You should remember the headings on test day and be able to come up with your own thoughts and examples.
6- Explain your answers to peers - Parents, siblings, friends, housemates all want to help during exam time. Make use of them! Explain an answer to a question to them. That will help you to get it clear in your head, and also to highlight any areas where you need more work. They may have great examples for you to back up your answer. Practise your answers with your classmates also. They might have a different perspective than you on the same question so you can learn from each other.
7- Take regular breaks - every student studies differently, set a routine that suits you and your needs and get it done! If you prefer morning study then begin early and take a good break for lunch. If the evening is more productive for you then take a break earlier on in the day and be ready to settle come evening time. Taking a rest from the books and scrolling through social media is a natural instinct but try to get outdoors or look around as opposed to staring at text on screens or books and then staring at a screen again after your break.
8- Snack on brain food - keep away from junk food, easier said than done! You may feel like you deserve a treat, or that you don't have time to cook, but what you eat can really have an impact on energy levels and focus. Do a good grocery shop, fill the fridge with easy snacks and salads. In the run up to exam time make bigger batches of food and freeze it, that way it's ready to go when you come in from a long day of study. Keep your body and brain well-fuelled by choosing nutritious foods such as fish, nuts, seeds, yogurt and blueberries. Bananas have been proven to increase concentration. The same applies on exam day. Eat a good meal before the test, based on foods that will provide a slow release of energy throughout. If allowed, bring in snacks to munch on but be considerate of others and don't have noisy wrappers. A little zip-lock bag with some fruit or nuts is perfect.
9- Drink water, lots of it - keep hydrated. Being well hydrated is essential for brain health and wellbeing. Keep a water bottle nearby, for added benefits drop some lemon, mint or orange into your H2O to help with immunity and add a bit of flavour!
10- Prepare for exam day - plan your route to the exam centre. Allow yourself ample time to arrive. Arrange where you're going to park, have a bag ready with pens (that work), pencils (already sharpened), correction fluid, your snacks and water. Reduce your stress on the morning of the exam by being as prepared as possible.
Finally, BEST OF LUCK!!! It will all be worth it in the end, your hard work will pay off.
If you have any quirky study tips or ways to get all that revision into your brain we'd love to hear from you! Comment below with your tips and tricks.