Exam Preparation: Eight Study Tips

The education system puts a lot of pressure on students to perform well in exams. Even though it is unfortunate that our grades judge our abilities, the truth is that all of us want to ace our exams. We want to get ahead in the race, and we know that one of the ways to do that is by excelling in our academics.

Some exams are life-changing, and your entire career and future depend on how well you perform in them. To ensure that you get the desired results, you must prepare well. Good preparation will make the exam easier to solve and give you the confidence to ace it. But with a plethora of distractions and a lengthy syllabus to complete, you might lose the right track. 

Here are eight exam preparation tips that can help you save the day.

Begin preparing early

We have all found ourselves immersed in books the night before an important exam. In a situation like this, your priority is to complete the lengthy syllabus somehow. You find yourself stressfully skimming through pages to get to the end. It is no surprise that your exam will go wrong if you prepare like this. Your brain can hold only 5-9 pieces of information. Beginning preparation with no time on your hands will not give your brain enough time to memorize anything.

Hence, make sure you begin SSAT preparation or any other exam prep when there is ample time left. It will allow you to make the mental effort of shifting concepts from your short-term memory to your long-term memory.

Prioritize topics

There is a tremendous shift in the education system regarding the mode of communication and the diversity of fields taught. Newly introduced courses like online MBA with healthcare concentration consist of two completely different areas of knowledge. Integrating two concepts in such studies makes their exams even more technical. With so much on your plate, you must begin with prioritizing topics that require the most practice or have the most weightage. It is almost impossible to be good at everything. Hence, a wise decision would be to study complex concepts first. It will also make your revision easier and give you more time to retain the idea until your exam date arrives fully.

Set goals for the day

Goals give you a clear picture of what you have to achieve by the end of the day. For example, your plan can be to complete chapters 1 and 2 and solve a past paper. With a clear direction, you will be able to get to work immediately. There will b a lesser chance of you going astray when there is a set objective. You can compare your progress with the goal you set at the start. Holding yourself accountable is easier this way. However, make sure that your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-oriented). For example, planning to study the entire syllabus is an unachievable goal. Even expecting yourself to complete this objective would be irrational and discouraging. Similarly, do not set a strict schedule for the entire week. Make them flexible and only for a day or two at a time. 

Find out your learning style

It is surprising how differently our minds work. A single way of learning is not suitable for all of us. There are four main learning styles: visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic. One of these styles is the most effective for you. To find out which one, surf the internet for self-assessment questions and quizzes. After determining the style most suited to you, start learning things keeping it in mind. For example, a visual learner should use graphs and flowcharts for betting understanding. In contrast, auditory learners might benefit from watching recordings and videos or even reading the matter to themself.

Take breaks

According to research, taking purposeful breaks while studying can increase your energy, productivity, and ability to focus. Although you might feel drained after an hour of only studying, your brain deserves rest at that point. A lack of breaks will tire you out early. Once you feel like you have reached a saturation point, take a walk or eat something to relax. Hopefully, you will be more energized and less stressed when you continue later. But remember, like everything is best in moderation, taking breaks is too. Please do not go too overboard with his one.

Find a proper space for studying 

Studying in your bed is an invitation to sleep. Instead, get yourself a study table. Ensure it is somewhere with no distractions like the television or people conversing. The environment should be comfortable with good lighting and everything within your reach. Getting up frequently to bring yourself a book or notes will lead to a lack of focus. A proper space like such will keep you more concentrated. It will so ensure both efficiency and effectiveness.

Take care of your health 

We might get a little extreme about our eating habits while preparing for exams. Sometimes we decide that eating will consume too much time, so we miss meals. Other times we take the help of mindless munching to reduce stress. Eating a healthy diet has proven to enhance cognitive skills and memory. Similarly, getting adequate sleep holds high value too. Sleeping helps learning and memory in several ways. A sleep-deprived person will not be able to focus on anything. And research has found that sleeping plays a vital role in the consolidation of memory. Hence, giving eating and sleeping due to importance will help you greatly in the long run.

Solve past papers

Past papers are a great way of familiarizing yourself with the paper pattern and the kinds of questions to expect. It will also give you an insight into what the examiner expects from you. Completing a past paper will help you retain the information better. Timing yourself while you solve these will prepare you for the actual exam. It will also introduce you to the stress the time constraint may bring. You will not have to experience loads of new things on exam day. So, you are more likely to perform better with lesser stressors in the environment.

The Bottom Line

It is essential to realize that your exam preparation can be a mixture of both highs and lows. Do not expect yourself to always be on top of the game. Such expectations will discourage you from putting in continuous effort. Remember that asking someone for help will keep you from getting too overwhelmed. The key here is to believe in your abilities. Only then will your preparation yield the results you want.