It is that time of the year again when students have to sit for promotional exams to the next level.Exams often form a big part of your academic assessment. As well as studying your textbooks/course materials, preparing for an exam can be stressful and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways you can prepare for exams in short time to increase your confidence and help you take the right approach. By doing a couple of simple things ahead of time, you can ensure that you are confident and ready for anything that comes up on the exam.
Here are a few tips to get you prepared:
1. Start studying early
Give yourself more than enough time to review the material that was covered in class. You might want to gauge how soon to start studying by how much material you need to review. For instance, if you have to review material for an entire session, you might want to start studying a few weeks prior. However, if you are just taking a test that covers material over a few chapters, a week prior or even three to four days may be sufficient.
Only you know how long it takes you to study,so you are the best judge of when to start studying.
- If the class material is especially difficult for you. Start studying early. Give yourself enough time to truly grasp the material, practice it and then review it.
- Get a full night’s sleep before the exam. Your brain needs time to subconsciously digest everything you’ve put into it, so start early so you don’t have to stay up all night
Read also: Creating and Sticking to a Study Plan
2. Read through the entirety of your notes
Don’t try to predict what will be on the exam! Going through your own notes will refresh your memory of the material and help you remember what you learned in class and if anything might be missing from your notes. Decide if you think your notes are sufficient enough to study from. Did you miss any classes? Are some of your notes missing? If so, you might need to borrow someone else’s notes
With new research from Microsoft revealing humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish (8 seconds to be precise), this method of studying won’t get you very far. The brain has also been proven to strengthen memories during breaks. So make sure you plan ahead and give yourself enough time to work through your material in sessions.
4.Combine whole and part learning
Memory expert Dr. Kenneth Higbee recommends two approaches to tackling big subjects. First is whole-to-part learning. Focus on the overarching concept or read the whole chapter first, then break it down into chunks and study the details. The second option is part-to-whole, where the details lead to a better understanding of the broader topic. Decide which one suits your earning style or subject-matter best.
5.Say it out loud
You’re 50% more likely to remember something if you speak it out loud, because it forces you to pay more attention than you would when reading. Flash-cards are a great way to prompt recitals, or find a study partner and quiz each other.
Extract yourself from the sofa. A study by the University of British Columbia found regular aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus (the verbal memory and learning part of the brain). Similarly, Dr. Chuck Hillman of Illinois University found that 20 minutes of exercise before exams improves performance.
Many people are visual learners. These students tend to remember what they read rather than what they hear, never forget a face, and might not follow verbal instructions all that well. Sound like you? Then whip out those felt tip pens. Diagrams, mind maps and colour-coded notes will all help you remember more.
8.Do away with distractions
According to a GWI report, the average person has five social media accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing them every day. Well, you can probably quadruple that when you’re sat at a desk with nothing but a textbook for company. It’s time to bite the bullet and download a tool to block your favourite distractions. With Self Control you can block tempting websites for a set amount of time to keep your study sessions on track.
There are no secrets to success, it is the result of preparation,hard work and learning from failure- General Collin Powell.