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 be studying in a day for 12 to 14 hours to get high scores, and it is not applicable in every situation.
In fact, during this time, it is important to focus on how much you have studied and not on how long you have studied. In this post, we will discuss some exam tips for students that will help you to study smarter and excel in your academics.
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 easier.
You can also set up a time table to manage your time effectively. First, note down how many exams you have and the days when you have to take the exams. 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 as per your convenience.
2. Organise your Space for Study
Before sitting down to prepare for your exams, make sure everything around you is organised. 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 your video games.
When preparing for exams, you need to feel as comfortable as possible and avoid all distractions so that you can concentrate more on studying. Additionally, you also need to sort out all your study material before beginning with the preparation.
Therefore, put your notes in order, check you have all the handouts, write down your own 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 of the key study tips that students should keep in mind. It will offer you a comfortable environment and will help you to 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.
If possible, try timing yourself when practising the old exam paper, this will help you to know how much time you are spending on each section.
You can get past exam papers from your teacher, your university library, or you can even search online.
4. Set Study Goals
For each study session, set yourself a goal to keep track of what you are studying or revising. You can note down your study goals as soon as you start with your study session or you can set them at the end of the session for the next one. Here are some examples of study goals you can set:
- I will work through at least five equations.
- I will go through and summarise chapters 5 and 6.
- I will understand and learn the key concepts that were taught in week 2 to 4 lectures.
5. Make Use of Diagrams and Flowcharts
When revising or preparing for an exam, visual aids can turn out to be really useful. 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 need to make sure that you do not waste time and stay focused on learning the importance of preparing for exams.
Studying with your friends or your 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 your siblings do not always have to be irritating and annoying, 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 to 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 to know what are 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, if you are a visual learner, pictures and diagrams can help you remember. So explore what your learning style is so that you can memorise significant facts and understand key concepts.
9. Take Regular Intervals
While it may seem that studying for more hours may result in more productivity, it’s actually 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.
Always keep in mind that 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, if you study better at night, take your break early. And if you are more productive in the morning, start studying first before taking a break during lunchtime.
10. Do Not Cram
Staying up all night and cramming will only make you more anxious and stressed out. So instead of trying to cover everything in your curriculum the day before the exam, it’s better just to review what you have already studied and sleep early.
This will keep you refreshed on the day of your exam. The key 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
In case you face trouble understanding a specific concept or subject, then do not hesitate to ask for help. Talk to your mentor, teacher, tutor, or your friend to understand the concept better before it’s too late. Rather than trying to memorize or cram, taking guidance from someone can help you remember the concept for a longer time.
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 day of the examination and see how much time 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 that the route is too long, you can make plans to travel with your classmates or friends, as long as you know they will be punctual.
Besides, do not forget to take at least a minimum of seven hours of sleep before the exam. Remember, exams are designed to test your thinking ability. So if you are sleep deprived, you might not be able to complete your exam in time or justify your answers correctly.
13. Do Not Evaluate Post Examination
After finishing your exam, if you realise 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 your score. Instead, stay focused on your studies and prepare for the next exam to ensure that you do not repeat the same mistake again.
14. Drink Lots of Water
As one of the most vital tips for exam day, always remember that keeping yourself hydrated will add to your overall positive mood and will make your brain work at its best.
So make sure to drink plenty of water while preparing for exams and even during the exam.
15. Choose Eating Nutritious Foods
Sometimes while studying, you may be tempted to eat junk food, but it can really 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. Bear in mind that you might crave sweet food, but it will crash your energy levels an hour later.
You must consider the exam tips and tricks for students mentioned above to get the most out of your exams. However, there might be other things that work better for you, so explore every option and ask your friends around to find out how they prepare for their exams — some of their final exam study tips might help you as well.