Posts Tagged ‘how to study’

How to study for exams

March 26, 2013

With exams just around the corner, many young people are starting to worry about how to study and revise, how to remember what they’ve learned, and how to make a good account of themselves in their exams.

Knowing how to study is a life skill: the principles are exactly the same at school as at college, university and even when you’re taking professional exams in the workplace. Learn the core skills NOW, and they’ll serve you well in the future.

Here are five top tips to help you to prepare for your exams:

1) Make a plan. And follow it.

Having a clear plan for how to prepare for exams and knowing how to study can help to minimise stress, so invest a little time to draw up a realistic study schedule.

Make your study plan / timetable when you’re in a calm frame of mind. Don’t wait until you’re in a panic and then jump from subject to subject trying to cram it all in.

Set yourself a timetable, and schedule in breaks, which will allow your subconscious to ‘digest’ the information you’ve studied.

2) Know your learning style.

Some people learn best from what they hear (auditory learners) some from what they see (visual) and some through what they do (haptic). Play to your strengths:

Visual learners

  • Capture the information you need to study and remember visually. Mind maps are a good example (look up Tony Buzan and mind maps). It’ll be easier for you to remember a visual image of a colourful mind map than a string of facts.
  • Use drawings and illustrations to help you.
  • Represent key facts in a flow chart: historical facts, for example, or the plot line of a play or novel.
  • Turn your information into something you can LOOK AT.

Auditory Learners

  • Consider recording yourself reading information onto your phone, and listening to it.
  • Read your study notes out loud to yourself so you can hear it.
  • Think about listening to music as you study, BUT be careful that you’re not listening to songs that will distract you.
  • Turn your study notes into something you can HEAR.

Haptic learners

  • The act of creating a mind map or flow chart with your information can be helpful to you.
  • Changing your location as you study may also help: if you remember, for example, being in the kitchen drinking a cup of tea, this can help to trigger memories of the thing you were studying at the time.
  • Associate your information with something you DO.

3) Check your understanding.

Test yourself. Pause from time to time and take a moment to remember what you’ve just studied – don’t just relentlessly plough on.

Look through past papers to see the types of question that are asked so that you’re familiar with the layout of the exam paper itself, and the style of the questions.

If you come across something that you’ve completely forgotten, or didn’t fully grasp in the first place – don’t guess, ask your teacher! They want you to succeed!

4) Look after yourself.

Don’t be tempted to rely on coffee and sugar to see you through. Your brain needs proper nutrition to work efficiently, so eat properly, even if you’re feeling a bit sick with nerves!

Try to get a decent night’s sleep too – don’t sit up till all hours thinking that will help you. It probably won’t. Look after yourself!

5) Think positive!

THINK POSITIVE before you go in to the exam. You’re doing yourself no favours by going in with an attitude of “I’m hopeless at maths – this is going to be awful!”, as this will have a negative impact on your performance.

Make a conscious effort to tell yourself something like, “I’ve prepared for this exam, and I’m going to give it my best shot”. It might sound like a small thing, but positive thinking can have a big impact.

Knowing that you’re walking into an exam room as prepared as you can be will give you confidence, so follow these tips … and good luck!

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