Examination time can be very stressful as it puts a lot of pressure on students to perform well. However, there are several things that you can do to prepare more effectively for your exams.
While completing your curriculum is critical for most exams, at the same time, it is also essential to use your time efficiently. It is a myth that students should study for 12 to 14 hours a day to get high scores, which is only practical in some situations.
It is essential to focus on how much you have studied rather than how long. In this post, we will discuss the best exam preperation tips for students to help them study smarter and excel academically.
1. Start Your Preparation Early
Starting early with your exam preparation will give you ample time to review everything you have already studied. So do not leave anything for the last moment, and make sure you understand your subject thoroughly. This will make revision much more effortless.
You can also set up a timetable to manage your time effectively. First, note down how many exams you have and the days when you have to take them. Then, set up your study schedule accordingly.
Remember, you may want to devote more preparation time to some subjects than others, so try to achieve a balance at your convenience.
2. Organise Your Space For Study
Before sitting down to prepare for your exams, ensure everything around you is organized. You should have enough space around you to keep your notes and textbooks. Also, you need to ensure that your chair is comfortable, there is enough lighting in your room, and there is nothing around you that might distract you, like video games.
When preparing for exams, you need to feel as comfortable as possible and avoid all distractions to concentrate more on studying. You must also sort out all your study material before beginning the preparation.
Therefore, put your notes in order, check you have all the handouts, write down your summaries for each chapter of your textbook, and prepare an outline of the subject so that you can use it as a last-minute referral.
Keeping everything in order is one essential study tip that students should remember. It will offer a comfortable environment and help you stay focused during preparation.
3. Review and Practice Old Exam Papers
Reviewing and practising old exam papers is one of the most effective ways to learn how to prepare for exams. It helps you to familiarise yourself with the format and structure of the question paper.
Try timing yourself when practising the old exam paper. This will help you know how much time you spend on each section.
You can get past exam papers from your teacher, your university library, or even search online.
4. Set Study Goals
For each study session, set a goal to keep track of what you are studying or revising. You can write down your study goals as soon as you start your study session or set them for the next one. Here are some examples of study goals you can select:
I will work through at least five equations.
I will go through and summarise chapters 5 and 6.
I will understand and learn the fundamental concepts taught in week 2 to 4 lectures.
5. Make Use of Diagrams and Flowcharts
When revising or preparing for an exam, visual aids can be beneficial. So first, try to make notes of everything you know about a particular topic and then when the exams are near, compress those notes to a one-page diagram.
Having your thoughts recorded in this format will enable you to easily remember everything you need to know while giving the exam.
6. Get Together With Friends For Study Sessions
Organising study sessions with your friends is one of the most crucial exam study tips for university students, as it helps you get answers to all your questions and vice versa. However, you must ensure you save time and stay focused on learning the importance of preparing for exams.
Studying with friends or fellow students is also a great way to challenge yourself and keep moving forward towards your goal.
7. Describe Your Answers To Others
Parents and siblings do not always have to be irritating, especially around your exam time. To stop them from distracting you, use them to your advantage and start describing the answers that you have prepared for them. This will help you to retain things and know the areas where you are lacking and need more work.
8. Study To Suit Your Learning Style
Your learning style will help you know the best ways to prepare for an examination. For instance, if you are an auditory learner, you may benefit from recording your notes and then listening to them later, or you can even listen to lecture recordings.
On the other hand, pictures and diagrams can help you remember if you are a visual learner. So explore what your learning style is so that you can memorize significant facts and understand key concepts.
9. Take Regular Intervals
While studying for more hours may result in more productivity, it's the opposite, and it might just wholly drain you out, leaving you with no energy to study and retain knowledge. So it's essential to take regular breaks for longer retention of information and to freshen up your mind.
Everyone is different, so what works for you might not work for others. When building a study routine, consider taking intervals when it works best for you. For instance, take your break early if you study better at night. And if you are more productive in the morning, start studying before taking a break during lunchtime.
10. Do Not Cram
Staying up all night and cramming will make you more anxious and stressed. So instead of covering everything in your curriculum the day before the exam, reviewing what you have already studied and sleeping early is better.
This will keep you refreshed on the day of your exam. The critical exam preparation you should be doing the night before your exam includes the following:
Gather all your study material
Review your notes
Test yourself on the main concepts
Set your alarm
11. Ask for Help
If you need help understanding a specific concept or subject, feel free to ask for help. Talk to your mentor, teacher, tutor, or friend to understand the concept better before it's too late. Rather than trying to memorize or cram, guidance from someone can help you remember the information for longer.
Your family members can also help you by asking you questions related to your subject to see whether you have understood the concept or not.
12. Plan your Exam Day and Sleep Well
Make sure you have everything ready way before the day of your exam, and do not leave anything for the last day. Check all the requirements and make all the other necessary arrangements.
Also, decide which route you will take on the examination day and see how long it will take you to reach the destination. This will help you to arrive on time at the examination centre and avoid being late.
If you think the route is too long, you can plan to travel with your classmates or friends, as long as you know they will be punctual.
Besides, remember to take at least a minimum of seven hours of sleep before the exam. Remember, exams are designed to test your thinking ability. If you are sleep deprived, you might need more time to complete your exam or justify your answers correctly.
13. Do Not Evaluate Post Examination
After finishing your exam, if you realize that you have given an incorrect answer to one of the questions, it may cause anxiety.
So avoid evaluating your question paper because, at that point, you will be able to do nothing to change your answer or score. Instead, stay focused on your studies and prepare for the next exam to ensure you do not repeat the same mistake.
14. Drink Lots of Water
As one of the most vital tips for exam day, always remember that keeping yourself hydrated will improve your overall positive mood and make your brain work at its best.
So, drink plenty of water while preparing for and even during exams.
15. Choose Eating Nutritious Foods
While studying, you may be tempted to eat junk food, which can impact your energy levels. So avoid junk food and make sure you are eating nutritious and well-balanced meals that are good for your memory and concentration, such as seeds, nuts, fish, blueberries, and yogurt.
Also, consider eating a healthy meal before the exam day that will provide a slow release of energy throughout the day. Remember that you might crave sweet food, but it will crash your energy levels an hour later.
Make the most of your exams by considering the tips mentioned above.
Explore different options and ask your friends how they prepare; their study tips might help you too. Don't forget, you can also seek guidance from your teachers at school.
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