Exams are a necessary and stressful part of study. Since they are so important, you need to study in ways that get the best results. Here are some ways to improve your study skills. Adapt them to your needs and environment to make the best of your education.
Create a timetable. Budget your time wisely to ensure that you cover all the topics covered in the exam. Remember to take regular breaks and get out and exercise.
Rewrite your notes to aid memory. Rewriting your notes is great if you’re a kinesthetic learner. Mind mapping is the most effective way of doing this. Also, when you re-write something, you will probably think about what you are writing, what it’s about, and why you wrote it down. Most importantly, it refreshes your memory. If you took notes a month ago and just found out that those notes will be relevant in your exam, rewriting them will remind you of them when you need it for your exam.
Find the right hours. Don’t study when you’re really tired. It’s better to get a good night’s sleep after studying for a short time, than to push on at two in the morning. You won’t remember much and you’re likely to see a performance drop the next day.
Don’t cram. Cramming the night before is proven to be ineffective, because you’re taking in so much information at once that it’s impossible to memorize it at all — in fact, you’ll hardly retain anything. I know it’s been preached to you many times before, but it’s true: Studying before and going over it multiple times really is the best way to learn the material. This is especially true with things like history and theoretical subjects.
Different subjects call for different studying. If it’s math you’re studying for, work on the problems. Don’t just read over it like you would for a history class, because you can actually do math, but you can seldom do history. Working problems out will help burn them into your mind, and remember: if you can’t solve the problem before the exam, you won’t be able to solve it on the exam either. For subjects based on calculations, it is important to do questions because this is essentially how you are going to be tested.
If you are studying for a more social subject, re-read your notes, or re-write them! Make sure you know what you’re talking about(rather than just memorizing your notes)!
- Don’t simply copy your notes over and over again. This tends to lean towards memorizing the exact wording of your notes instead of the actual concepts. Instead, read and think about the contents of your notes (such as think of examples), and then re-word them.
- Choose good surroundings. How do you study best? In your PJ’s and your favorite t-shirt? With music or without? In your room or outside? You probably won’t be able to study effectively with distractions like family members and outside noises. Some strategies for managing your surroundings include:
- Make sure you are studying in a clean, quiet and orderly room. This may necessitate leaving your house. Public libraries are usually a good option. Be aware that food is likely not allowed and you will be expected to keep the silence.
- Studying in a dark room is not recommended. Add lamps at night, or in the daytime, open the window coverings(open the window a little, too). People tend to study and focus better in a brighter, oxygenated room with little noise.
- Turn the TV off, more often than not. Some people like to have the TV on quietly in the background. This can cut both ways in that it can distract you from time to time, but also can help you to continue studying. It may be beneficial to begin studying with the TV on in the background, and then turning it off once you’re under way. The combination of visual and audio stimuli will likely reduce your studying performance, as it makes it more difficult for your brain to prioritize information acquisition (rapidly swapping attention between studying and watching TV).
- Music’s effect on memory performance varies between individuals. Some studies have found music to aid the memory performance of individuals with ADD/ADHD, while reducing it in individuals without the disorder. Music can be motivating (making studying more enjoyable) while still detracting from memory performance. You must determine whether you’re better off with or without it. If you cannot bring yourself to study without music, it may be worth the minor negative effect it can have on memory.
Take breaks. You need some time to have fun and it is better to revise when you are feeling relaxed than to exhaust yourself studying all day! The only caveat is, you need to avoid procrastination.
- If you have trouble bringing yourself to study, instead of long uninterrupted sessions, chunk your work into 20 minute periods, taking a 10-minute break at the end of every period. You can vary this time to your comfort (i.e 45 minute periods with 20 minute breaks), though try to keep the ratio of more work over break time. Make sure that you structure the chunks logically so that you’re not breaking up concepts across chunks, as this may make it more difficult to remember concepts in their entirety.
Plan ahead. Always create a plan before you start studying. Remember that this plan has to be achievable. If 3 out of 5 lessons are easy and can be finished fast, finish them first, so you can spend quality time on the difficult lessons without fretting. Small tricks like these will help you complete your portions quickly.
Review your notes. When you are finished studying one page of your notes, before you move on to the next page, ask yourself questions relating to the material on that page to see if you have remembered what you just studied. It also helps to say the answers to your questions out loud as if you were trying to explain it to someone else.
- Ask yourself: What is my teacher most likely to ask on the exam? What materials should I focus on to give myself the best chance of knowing what I need to know? What trick questions or wrinkles could my teacher introduce that might throw me for a loop?
Ask for help. If you need help, ask someone who is good at these subjects. Friends, family, teachers are all good options. If you don’t understand what the person helping you is communicating, don’t be afraid to ask them to elaborate.
Be prepared on the big day. On the day of your exam, look at your notes before the exam so that the information is still fresh in your head.
- Get plenty of rest the night before. Children in elementary school require on average 10-11 hours of sleep for optimal performance, while adolescents in high school require between 8-10 hours of sleep on average. Poor sleep has been found to accumulate (referred to as „Sleep debt”); in order to make up for prolonged poor sleep habits, several weeks of daily optimal sleep may be required to return to optimal performance.
- Eat a balanced breakfast full of lean protein, vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. A sample breakfast might include a spinach omelet with smoked salmon, whole wheat toast, and a banana.
- Get to the exam room with time to spare. Give yourself at least five or 10 minutes to gather your thoughts before starting the exam. That means being in the exam room five to 10 minutes before the exam starts.
- Never think you won’t be able to pass the exam. Always think positive. If you say you can: you can. If you say you can’t: you can’t.
- Get everything before you start studying. Don’t waste your time in searching for stuff.
- Just relax! Don’t sweat it and you will spend more time focusing on the test than things like time and appearance.
- Be positive by using affirmations. Use and repeat positive words like confident, capable, good memory recall whenever any negative thought comes.
- If you have an idea of the questions that will be asked and are finding it hard to remember the answers, write the question in one side of the card and the answer on the back. Practice relating the question to the answer and when you go to the exam, your mind will remember!
- Sleep well before exams, so your mind will be alert before, after, and during the exam.
- Don’t consume caffeine, or any other stimulating substance (i.e Ritalin) any less than 5-6 hours prior to sleeping. Such substances reduce the efficiency of sleep, meaning that even with sufficient sleep time, you may not feel well rested upon waking.
- Have faith that you will pass this exam. Self confidence is important.
- Always study when you have the chance. Don’t let your mind tell you that you don’t want to study.
- If you’re stuck on one question, move on to another question then come back to the difficult one later. This saves you time, so you won’t waste it all on just one question.
- Revise the work that you did in class on the same day.
- Revise the work that you did in class on the same day.
- Using pictures or associating to memorize can also help.
- Keep your phone switched off while studying.
- Do not study a subject only once. If you have more time you can revise for your studies twice or thrice, but only if you have a lot of time and have revised for all your other subjects at least once.
- Make sure you actually pay attention in class. You wouldn’t want to miss something that will be tested. Listen carefully, because teachers often give hints like „The most important thing about this topic is…”. Or they may just place emphasis on certain words and issues.
- Don’t study laying on top of your bed: you easily get sleepy.
- If you are a memorizing person, or want to be, lecture to yourself (out loud) while also using your hands; this way it will be easier for you to memorize. Do a whole section, then move onto the next. Do this until you finish the whole of the chapter you’re working on.
- An exam is only an exam. If you fail this one it’s not the end of the world. Just try harder on the next one.
- Don’t include too many snacks in your daily study routine because you might end up gaining weight instead of knowledge!
- Get a desk lamp and turn any other lights out and just have your own corner to study.
- If you ask help from others, don’t joke around. Concentrate on what you are doing.
- Asking teachers for help conveys your commitment to the material, and can be helpful in the future as well as with your exams. Always remember to ask your teachers if you do not know what she is talking about or if you need more information. The teacher will gladly help.
- Play classical music, it soothes your mind and makes studying easier.
- Finding out who is writing the exam can be helpful. This way, you might be able to understand what sort of questions will be used (i.e: short answer, essays, multiple choice, etc.) Just do not put all your time into finding out who the exam writer is.
- If you absolutely must listen to music, find instrumental music so that the words in the music don’t interfere with your studying.
- Arrange study dates at a library with your friends to compare notes or explain things the other one might not understand.
- Record yourself saying notes and recite it afterwards.
- Various university facilities are at your disposal and you probably don’t even know it. There are usually personnel who are trained to help you cope with stress, answer study-related questions, give you study tips and other forms of guidance. Just visit your uni website or ask your professor what help is available.
- Even if you do happen to get a C or lower on your test, many schools now allow students to retake tests, and will average the two scores out.
- Avoid stress from other people, if at all possible. Don’t hang around friends that worry and stress. This will rub off on you.
- Start studying at least a week before the exam.
- Understand what is being taught. Ask questions if you don’t.
- Ask your teacher what are some things you can do to study for the exam
- Don’t study only on the night before the exam. Study everything bit by bit when you come home from school every day. It’s no use studying everything in one shot.
- Coffee and other sources of caffeine have debatable efficacy as study aids. Some studies report memory performance improvements, while others report lower performance. If you are unavoidably extremely tired, caffeine can improve studying performance (as in, bring you closer to the performance you’d have if you were well rested, but not better), though it is far better to be well rested prior to studying. The same applies to the time during the test as well.
- Don’t be overconfident, always anticipate the hardest question, and then everything will seem easier.
- If you fail, don’t stress, hence the last tip! You’ve gotten so far, and you can make it back up there!
- Cheating won’t solve your exam problems, it will just end up with getting you busted. Just study well. Getting good grades that were earned honestly will motivate you to study and achieve even more. You’ll also feel better when you get your grade!
Edited by Cerealboles, Horses4Ever, Tom Viren, Vivek Kumar Rohra and 231 others- Sursa: http://www.wikihow.com/Study-For-Exams