Examinations are an inevitable part of student life and every student will forever dread exam time. They tend to be scheduled together with hardly enough time in between to even catch up on sleep. Let’s not forget the added pressure from our Singaporean strict parents who expect us to ace them with flying colors every time. If you’ve ever been stressed during exams, or even if you are one of those who has it all together, read along as we tell you some tips to get through them efficiently.
Make a realistic timeline of how much time you have and how much needs to be covered. As your test dates or deadlines approach, you need to assess how much studying you have left and how much needs to be done. This will allow you to estimate how many hours you can study each day. More importantly, you will be able to decide what important topics require the most attention, or are more difficult, allowing you to allocate time smartly.
Make sticky notes your new best friend
Exam time is the best time for you to rediscover your love for stationary. Get all your colorful highlighters, markers and sticky notes, and use them productively. Start making neat, bullet pointed notes for important things and paste them on your notebook, above your desk or even on your bedside table. It has been proven by research that writing things down helps with memorization. This is especially true for things like history dates or difficult math formulae, where the only way you are going to be able to memorize is by writing them and glancing at them regularly.
If you’re one of those students who are in a habit of opening up the books a day or two before the exam, relying on caffeine and a pack of Red Bull cans to help you stay up all night to study, you must know that while that seems doable, it is a highly inefficient way to study.
Instead, learn to start a few days before and pace yourself. Studying continuously for hours not only drains the mind but also makes you more stressed out and less creative. You may experience ‘studying blocks’, where your brain is unable to absorb any new information after studying for a long time. The most efficient and productive way to study is to take 15 to 30-minute break after every hour or so. This will give your mind a break and you’re more likely to be able to study for longer durations and have better memory.
Procrastination needs to be dealt with
All those who are in a perpetual habit of slacking off to the last minute, this tip is especially to help you cope with laziness and the guilt that follows. Think of a reward system for yourself for each hour or two of an uninterrupted study session. You could reward yourself with anything that you know you will look forward to. It could be an episode of your favorite show, a chapter of a novel, or even something as simple as a conversation with a friend. These ’motivators’ will train your mind to get through a study session without unnecessary delays.
Zone out of distractions
The location you choose to study is as important as the duration for which you study. A quiet room with no noisy surroundings is ideal. Also, the habit of checking phones constantly is undoubtedly going to distract your mind, so keep your phone away when you start studying.
Get enough sleep
Anxiety is bound to keep you up, but try to sleep at least five hours before going to give an exam so your mind is at rest and you feel relaxed.
Try different sources for studying
If you feel like you are getting bored of studying material from the same notes or a boring book, try switching to a more interesting and captivating sources of studying. There are loads of YouTube channels dedicated to the educational courses. For long history lectures, try listening to a podcast or recorded recollection of historical events.
Get a study partner
One of the best ways to revise is to teach someone what you have learned. Take the opportunity to help out friends as this is going to be a revision for you too. Also, studying with someone else makes it easier to go over important study material and there is always someone present to get you back on schedule if you start being negligent.
Before starting off your paper, try to calm yourself and remember to not panic if you see a question you don’t know an answer to. Instead, move on to the next one and get back to it later.
Use these tips for your next big quiz or exam, and be assured you will perform a lot better. Also remember, that it is the quality of study that is always more significant than the duration for which you study. Need more tips? Read ‘An Easy Guide to Studying Effectively’