Study Tips for Exams

  • When you find relationships between information, come up with analogies to increase your understanding.
  • Abstract ideas are difficult to memorize because they are far removed from our senses. Shift them closer by coming up with vivid pictures, feelings and images that relate information together.
  • Find someone who doesn’t understand the topic and teach it to them. This exercise forces you to organize.
  • When you read through a textbook, every piece of information should connect with something else you have learned.
  • Look for patterns in information. Information becomes easier to organize if you can identify broader patterns that are similar across different topics.
  • Reading lots and having a general understanding of many topics gives you a lot more flexibility in finding patterns and metaphors in new topics.
  • It is best to review the material right after class when it’s still fresh in your memory.
  • Don’t try to do all your studying the night before the test. Instead space out your studying, review class materials at least several times a week, focusing on one topic at a time.
  • Have all of your study material in front of you: lecture notes, course textbooks, study guides and any other relevant material.
  • Find a comfortable and quiet place to study with good lighting and little distractions (try avoiding your own bed; it is very tempting to just lie down and take a nap).
  • Take short breaks frequently. Your memory retains the information that you study at the beginning and the end better than what you study in the middle.
  • Make sure that you understand the material well, don’t just read through the material and try to memorize everything.
  • If you choose to study in a group, only study with others who are serious about the test.
  • Listening to relaxing music such as classical or jazz on a low volume can relieve some of the boredom of studying.
  • Don’t study later than the time you usually go to sleep, you may fall asleep or be tempted to go to sleep, instead try studying in the afternoon or early evening. If you are a morning person try studying in the morning.
  • Practice on old exams. It’s always good to find out what kind of questions are going to be in the exam and the best way is too look through old exams.
  • Organize study groups with your friends. You may have questions that they have the answers to and vice versa.
  • Snack on brain food. Keep away from junk food and opt for a bowl of nuts instead. They’re much better for the waistline and for the brain.
  • You need to fuel your body while you study so make sure you eat nutritious food that has been proven to help your brain focus such as fish, nuts, yogurt and blueberries.
  • Keeping your sugar levels up is just as important during an exam as it is during a football match. You need to stay alert and hydrate your body.
  • If you start to feel yourself fade halfway through your exam, just pop a sweet into your mouth and you’ll be away again.
  • Regular physical exercise makes you feel great, boosts your energy and helps you relax. So try to keep up regular sporting activities or at least fit in some regular exercise as often as you can.
  • Study different subjects each day and do different types of work and revision in each study session.
  • Have all the appropriate materials with you before you start a session of study to minimize distractions.
  • If you have followed a study routine and have been revising your class work, there should be no need to worry. Try to keep yourself calm, positive and confident.

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