Studying up for an exam – whether it be school, a driving test, or work-related – needn’t fill you with dread. Changing the way you prepare yourself can make it not only more enjoyable, but more effective. Here are just a few methods worth trying out to help you conquer the next big test in your life:
It’s not about the hours you put in:
No, this isn’t an encouragement to cram the night before. Revising weeks in advance is still important, but you needn’t spend hours burrowed in a textbook each day. Instead, dedicate small amounts of time each day to brush up on a few new things that you’re not as confident with. Cram in short bursts and give yourself a break and time to relax and reward your mind, then take another crack at it the next day.
Destroying the ‘fear of the unknown’:
Exam nerves are largely a fear of the unknown. However, nowadays, there are so many online tools that can better prepare you for the examination. For example, past exam papers are often easy to find online. By knowing what came the year before, you may have a better idea of what’s most likely and most unlikely to appear this year. There are also sites such as https://gradebuddy.com/ that can provide you with class and lecture notes for any of those lectures and seminars that you may have missed.
Knowing your learning style:
There are different learning styles better suited to different people. Some people revise better with others, whilst other may find this too distracting for their study style. Some people are visual learners, while others get put off by images and graphs. There are also other types of learning such as physical learning (doing practice exams, writing on sticky notes, playing revision games) and audio learners (listening to audio-guides, listening to other people). Find the learning style that best suits you, so that information gets soaked up more quickly and more effectively. Guides such as https://www.lynda.com/articles/whats-learning-style-find can help you get the best out of your individual learning style so that you can better prepare for the next big test.
Get out of the house:
If you’re just revising in your room, try a change of surroundings and see what effect it has on your output. Some people find going outdoors to be a good mental stimulation – although perhaps not on a miserable day. Libraries, coffee bars, and internet cafes can also be good places to get you feeling less confined. Make sure that there aren’t too many distractions by timing your revision periods well – going to a coffee bar during a busy lunch period might result in too much noise and a less than effective study sesh.
Keep your body active:
Staying physically as well as mentally active is important when having a study session. Exercise gets the blood pumping around your body helping to circulate your brain with a fresh hit of oxygen. You don’t have to go for a jog or hit the gym – taking the time to do a few push-ups in your bedroom might be all that your body needs. There are also ways to revise as you exercise, although they may not work for all types of learners. You can listen to an audio study guide while jogging or doing a workout. Or you could work with a group of friends, throwing and catching a ball and having to answer questions each time.
Study up in small bursts and ace the next big exam that comes your way! You got this! 🙂
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