Studying for our exams is one of the hardest burdens we face in our day to day lives. As we prepare for exams, our deadlines can overwhelm us both psychologically & physically. However, if we make time for our studies and prepare ourselves in advance, we will not only feel mentally relieved, but also fully prepared to undertake our midterms & finals with all the required knowledge ready at our disposal.
Here are 10 scientifically proven steps to take full advantage of you studies.
1. Use books & printed material over ebooks & etext:
Tablet´s, smartphones and computers may be the most convenient devices to study, they are ideally not the best ones however. Even if media devices allow us to have access to all of our study materials & books anywhere, there are several inconveniences one may experience. One such inconvenience is the fact that devices require to be charged in order for us to be able to study, this creates a problem since there are times when we may forget to charge our devices after our long study sessions, or the fact that we are required to have internet connection to access our School & University Portals means that without wifi access, we basically are not able to study under any circumstance (especially if we are using laptop pc´s). If you want to have all your study material ready at your disposal anytime, anywhere then its ideal to simply study for exams using your textbooks provided by your educational institution.
2. Listening To Music:
Although this one may seem like a bad idea, granted that our favorite playlists can distract us from the topic we are studying for, there´s actually ways to reverse this to your advantage. One good example is to create a playlist which features tracks that contain no lyrics, this will allow you to focus on your study material since it is the lyrics themselves that sway our attention away. You can even take advantage of this by studying your topics in rythm with the instumentals, causing you to remember your topics as if it were a song. This is because you are conditioning your brain with two stimuli: The studied topic and the instrumental played, causing you to subconsciously remember everything as a result!
3. Do exercise shortly before you study:
As silly as this may sound, exercise actually boosts our capacity to study significantly! This is because exercise boosts our andrenaline, pumping oxygen and nutrients into our brains. This in turn, leads us to become significantly more alert, open and energetic for quite a good while!
Remember to always study after you exercise, and not the other way round as exercising after a study session will keep you awake and this can be problematic especially due to the fact that this will keep you awake, which in turn can be catastrophic especially if bedtime is only a couple of minutes away.
You are only studying, not doing the actual exam yet. Instead get the worries out of your mind and remember to make use of all the time, days and weeks you have left before your midterms & finals. If you take full advantage of that and distribute your time per subject equally, you will notice yourself much more relaxed as you realize you are memorizing everything and there´s still time to memorize for more!
5. Study when you are tired:
As contradicting as this may be (especially to point 3), studying when you are tired does have its benefits too. If you are tired and are moments away from going to sleep, take your notes or your textbook and have a small read until you fall asleep. Who knows, your studies may manifest as dreams!
6. Change your study environment & scenery:
The more you find yourself changing from one place to another as you study, the more you will realize how you´ll end up more immersed in your studies. This is because the more you change from one environment to another, the more engaged you become. This is because your brain undergoes adaptation whenever you move from one place to another, causing you to subconsciously study more as a result. It is a good idea to move to quiet places however, as places that are loud or have many people will sway you from studying the more distracted you become. Instead, it will be ideal to study in a library, field or up in the hills where you have all the time you need to study and reflect deeply.
7. Review the topics covered in class the very same day:
It is a common fact that the more we study in class, the more we absorb the topics covered by our teachers. That does not mean that once the class is finished you shouldn´t revise the topics, because if you don´t, there´s high chances you will forget them. However, if you revise the topics on the very same day before going to sleep, there are higher chances that the topic studied will permanently remain within your brain.
8. Revise your studied topics verbally:
Revising your periodically studies topics out loud/with a friend helps you to remember everything faster than reading and revising by yourself. Even if you find yourself on your own, reading your textbooks & your notes out loud has been proven to help you remember your material much better than reading and revising in your head.
9. Assume a teacher´s role:
Just like point 8, when you assume the teaching role as you are revising with a friend, you will be surprised to see that you have learned your material much faster unexpectedly. This is because when you are teaching a friend the upcoming exam topics, you are sharing & exchanging knowledge with your friend. This means that your friend may actually propose answers to topic questions you might´ve not known, where their answers causes you to learn a detail that you otherwise might´ve not known about, giving you the possibility to score extra points when the topic will show up in your exam.
10. Take practice tests:
Practice tests are perhaps the best way to study for any exam. This is because practice tests are essentially a compilation of all the possible questions that may appear in your midterm & final exams. While you are taking the tests, it is ideal to have someone who can mark your test and correct your answers such as a private tutor or you school/university teachers who can tell you where you were right or wrong. Remember practice makes perfect so never be ashamed of your mistakes, remember them and procure yourself to not repeat them again.
Remember, Even if you don´t have a teacher or a tutor who can correct your answers, there´s plenty of tests available online which will correct your final answers, so take advantage and memorize the correct answers for the questions you got wrong. The more you remember the better your exam´s result will be!