5 Top Tips: How to Study for Your Exams
Here's a list of five useful tips to help you get the most out of your revision
Tip #5 Set Up Your Routine
Exams can cause stress because you are trying to do your best to set you up for the future. Get into a pattern of eating well, sleeping well and doing other activities in between to keep you balanced.
When it comes to exam day, make sure you have a plan including what time to get up, what you will wear, what to bring to the exam, what you will eat and how you will travel. Planning these things in advance will help reduce your stress levels on the day and help you do your best in the exam!
Tip #4 Know Revision Techniques
Get to understand the subject matter: the first step in successfully answering an exam question is to get your head around the topics and concepts for that subject or course in the first place. Do not miss any classes!
Create a quiz on a topic (covering keywords, key ideas etc.) and get other people to test you. This will help you find strengths and weaknesses within your knowledge of the subject.
Look out for additional revision classes which may be available to you.
During class and while reading textbooks, make notes of topics and concepts which you can later revise from. When you come to revise, you can start by selectively highlighting key points and researching any which you do not understand. Later you will be able to summarise key points by writing them out in your own words. Once you have done these a few times, begin writing short essays where you link relevant points together to form exam answers.
Important study techniques also include analysing model answers using the marking scheme and attempting past exam papers. Talk to your teachers about accessing these resources.
Tip #3 Find What Works for You
Experiment with different studying environments to find out what suits you best.
Try studying at home, the library, the park or other places; on your own or with classmates, with music or without.
Avoid distractions by leaving your phone in another room and logging out of any social networks while you study.
Tip #2 Plan Your Time
For topics you find more challenging, make time to cover them initially and then come back to them again before sitting your exam. This will give you time to understand the topic in your own terms or ask your teacher if you need further guidance.
Why not put up all your exam dates on a wall chart? You can then work backwards to see when to begin studying for each one. Give yourself the best chance of success by starting your studies long in advance rather than doing stressful last-minute ‘cramming’ in the days (and nights) before an exam.
During the exam, be sure to set yourself time limits based on the weighting of each question. For instance, if a question is worth 40% of the marks, give yourself 2/5 of the total exam time to answer it (and stick to it). Take a moment the read each question twice to make sure you fully understand it and, of course, be sure to answer every question required!
Tip #1 Look After Yourself!
When planning your study schedule, make time for regular breaks (at least 5 minutes in each hour), fun activities such as watching a movie or spending time with friends and family, exercise and proper relaxation.
Make sure you are eating a healthy, balanced diet and drinking a good amount of water to keep your brain and body hydrated. Some great ‘brain foods’ include blueberries, fish such as salmon, nuts, seeds and avocados. Try eating fruit before an exam because the natural sugars give your brain an energy boost. If possible, take a bottle of water into your exam so you can take a moment to compose yourself and have a sip when needed.
Although exams are important, don't stress yourself out too much. If you are feeling very low or anxious about your exams, make sure you open up to somebody and don't keep it to yourself. As long as you do your best, you should be fine!
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