Blog & Insights
10 Easy Study Tips
With exams approaching, it’s time to knuckle down and get stuck into the books. Check out these 10 tips to help you get the grades you want.
- Manage your time: It’s not the amount of time you spend studying, but how much you accomplish that counts. Create a timetable or study plan that gives you adequate time to cover all your subjects in an organised manner, instead of jumping erratically from one to the next. Make sure you schedule in fun activities too so that your getting a healthy mix of study, relaxing and some exercise.
- Get your room in order: You’ll find it so much easier to concentrate and overcome distractions if your studying environment is clean, tidy and organised. Ensure your desk and chair are set at appropriate heights to avoid back and neck strain, and that there’s plenty of light. Ventilation is important, too.
- Block Facebook: There is no denying the allure of Facebook come study time – sussing out friends walls and the latest posts is far more interesting than reviewing class notes and past exams… But beware of the social network trap, many hours can be lost trowelling through meaningless updates and can leave you stressed and anxious when you realise there is only 5 hours left until the exam! If you can’t resist the temptation of checking for updates every five minutes, download an app like Facebook Limiter to temporary restrict or limit your daily access during exam time.
- Develop healthy habits: A good night’s sleep does wonders for your concentration. So will drinking plenty of water, eating balanced meals and exercising regularly. Smoking, drinking alcohol or taking drugs will do the opposite, as will living on a diet consisting of junk food – remember the old saying: ‘A Healthy Body = A Healthy Mind’.
- Find strength in numbers: One of the reasons many of us hate studying is that it generally confines us to silence and solitude. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Find a study partner or join a study group and attack the subject head on – it can be a great way to gather others opinions and give you a fresh or clearer undestanding of a topic.
- Take a break: Reward yourself with a break every two hours or so. But instead of falling into the trap of switching on the TV or surfing the Internet (where 30 minutes can quickly become 2 hours), go for a walk to get some fresh air, stretch those legs and to clear your mind. If it’s raining or too cold outside, try lying down on the floor with your knees bent and a stack of books under your head and closing your eyes for a minute or two, or having a good 15 minute stretch – both great ways to switch off.
- Test yourself: Create a list of questions similar to those that might be included in your exam, have a go at answering them, and then identify areas where you may need to spend a bit more time revising. Another great study technique is to get your self in the zone – ask your tutors or lecturers for some past exams, set the timer and test your knowledge (a great way to prepare yourself mentally and give you a sense of time allocation for each answer).
- Make flash cards: If you come across a piece of information you’re having trouble recalling, write it down on one side of a blank card. Write a clue to help you recall it on the other side. For example, write ‘Water’ on one side and ‘H20’ on the other. Then flip them over from time to time. Doing this will strengthen your recall of the information.
- If you get stuck, ask for help: If you come across a topic or section you just can’t understand, don’t just re-read it over and over… its only going to end up looking more like alphabet soup than when you started. Insteadm ask your lecturer, tutor or another student to explain it to you – you’ll be amazed by getting someone elses view can make things become crystal clear.
- Believe in yourself: The power of ‘Positive Thought’ really is one of the keys to success – not just in exams but in all aspects of life. Remind yourself that you’ve put in the hard work and are well prepared to give it your all come exam day. Knowing you are prepared, organised and well versed with your study material will help decrease the amount of pre-exam nerves – and then relaxing post exam just feels that little bit sweeter!
Good luck to you all!