13 Study Tips to get you through the Exam Period
1 – Make a plan
We cannot say it often enough, but start in time! Being well prepared will give you less stress before and during the exam. Make a schedule for yourself in which you plan at least a few hours of studying a day. There are many great apps which can help you with your revision: iStudiez Pro – a fantastic schedule planner with notifications to make sure you don’t forget anything, MyStudyLife – organise lectures, revision and exams with this free app, Passion Planner – increases productivity by organising your life to focus on your goals with different priority settings, Remember The Milk – a very popular app that helps get the to-do’s out of your head.
Sometimes it is better to get out of your comfort zone in order to focus. In your own room there might be too many distractions around you. Most of us will recognise the sudden need to tidy your entire room (of which you did not even think once in months) after which you will spend hours watching random videos on Instagram. Instead: go to a library, café or anywhere that gives you a chance to focus on what’s really important – your exams! Also, make sure you at least turn off your phone notifications to prevent yourself from grabbing it with every incoming alert.
Are there any practice questions you can make? Go for it. This is the best way to test your knowledge. Especially if the practice questions are from your own lecturer. Are there no practice questions online? Try to contact your lecturer in time, asking if he or she can set some up with an answer sheet to it! Not only will you show your motivation, you will also make it much easier for yourself to prepare for the exam when you know what type of questions can be expected.
Discuss with your peers, but not too much..
Discussing topics with your peers while studying for your exam can help during your preparation. However, make sure you do not end up leaving each other confused. Especially not right before an exam. Instead, try reaching out to your lecturer or (if you know one) a student who already made (and passed!) this exam before. They are more likely to give an explanation you will understand – and can rely on.
Stepping outside to get some fresh air lowers stress levels. Being out for a few minutes, already gives your brain the break it needs after all that repetitive reading. Stepping out especially helps when you reached that point where you keep on reading the words but your brain just cannot digest it anymore.
Get enough sleep
Although we know that it is hard to manage getting enough sleep during exam periods, we do advise you to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. A good night’s rest plays an extremely important role in how well you remember everything you read. Give your brain a chance to digest all the information of today, so you can be filled with energy and be ready for a new study day in the morning.
Next to sleep, exercising improves your study process. Not only does exercising reduce stress levels, it also improves your cognitive function up to 10%. Half an hour of exercise a day is already enough to achieve this. Sounds like the perfect break, right?
Make sure you have EVERYTHING
Need a calculator? Pack it. Need a ruler? Make sure you take it with you. Pack all required tools the day before the exam so you will not have to stress about it in the morning.
..and afraid you will forget them as soon as you get into the exam? Write them down on your scrap paper before you open the question sheet. This also works for conjugations of tenses when you are studying a foreign language.
Always take your time to read questions carefully. The worst way to lose points in an exam is because you read the question too quickly and gave the wrong answer as a result. Especially if you could have given the right answer if you would have read more carefully!
Long texts? No problem!
First, try not to panic when another long text is waiting for you. Instead, read the questions and start scanning the text. Mark what is important, or cross out what is not. This often gives you the chance to get rid of half of the text, making it easier to read through and focus on finding the correct answer.
Worried about time restrictions?
Focusing on the time every other minute will not only stress you out, it also makes you waste time. Try to focus on making everything as complete as possible. How? Always start with the questions you know the answer to right away rather than stressing over a question you are never going to be 100% sure of.
If you do have any time left, why not use it to double check your answers? Thus, you can prevent it from happening that you make common mistakes, such as misreading.
After the exam, try not to go crazy over comparing your answers to those of every other student you meet outside the examination room. Instead (only if you do not have any other exams coming up) reward yourself! You have done well and tried the best you could. Now it is time to celebrate, or take a really long nap 😉