It’s that time of the year when you must study your heart out for the upcoming exams. Are you getting cold feet? Do you find yourself staying awake at night for fear you won’t be able to complete the syllabus on time? If you are, remember you aren’t alone.
Instead of feeling bogged down by all the pressure, take a deep breath and make a plan involving some easy-to-do study hacks. Not every hack will work for you, that’s for sure; give these a shot, and you will see a difference in your productivity.
Top 10 exam hacks for you:
- Get a study space: Don’t get all worked up just because you cannot work in groups. Studying with friends doesn’t work for everyone, especially if you have a problem focusing. Instead, look for a suitable place to sit down with your books where you are not easily distracted. This should be uncluttered, clean, and comfortable, without the TV howling in the background or the clatter of utensils in the kitchen.
- Have mini-study sessions: It’s natural for your mind to start drifting after concentrating uninterruptedly for a long time. When your mind starts to wander, don’t force yourself to cram some more. Instead, take a short break and stretch yourself; maybe grab a quick healthy bite because you tend to feel hungry when you study.
- Teach a topic to someone else: Try explaining what you have studied to your sibling or grandparent. If you see that you aren’t able to explain it clearly to them, it means you are still not clear about it yourself. Revise it until you can offer a lucid explanation.
- Listen to music: Don’t use this as an excuse to listen to head-banging music! Play something light that is soothing and helps you concentrate better. Music helps to raise dopamine and lessens blood flow to our brain’s fear center; the result? You feel less stressed and more in control of things.
- Create mind maps: The easiest way to remember something is to draw a mental map. Notes can be of use. However, it’s impossible to remember everything you write down before the exams. Instead, draw a large circle in the center of your page and write the main topic inside this. Make smaller circles for the main headlines, and insert summaries and key points related to the main topic.
- Practice mindfulness: If you feel overly stressed, switch off to clear your mind. Meditation can help, and exercises like yoga make you conscious of your breathing and help your mind and body to relax. When you resume studying, you will feel rested and rejuvenated.
- Colour code the notes: Black and white text can be boring to read and harder to remember. Try to use different colours to make it easy for your brain to help you remember important facts. However, there has to be a method to this madness; don’t start using a riot of colours in everything! Stick to specific colours for definitions, differences, key dates, statistical data, etc.
- Fix study times: Just because your best friend studies through the night before an exam doesn’t mean you can do it too. Ask yourself when you are most alert and utilize this time well. It could be at the crack of dawn or in the middle of the night when you are least likely to be disturbed. If you have the habit of sleeping in the afternoon, you don’t sacrifice your sleep to stay ahead. Maybe your brain needs that rest to function better.
- Test yourself: There’s no better way to overcome exam jitters than by testing yourself. What if you suddenly realize that you cannot remember a thing about what you studied the previous week? You don’t want to wait until the last day before exams to test yourself. Do this every week or after completing a particular section. It will boost your confidence significantly.
- Keep the phone away: Imagine how much time you waste scrolling through Instagram and Facebook feeds! Mindless browsing can impact productivity, concentration, and sleep patterns, making you fall behind your study schedules. Stay away from your smartphone when you study, and don’t ever feel guilty about not replying to WhatsApp messages! Your friends will forgive you for that if they are your well-wishers.
Use these simple study hacks to make a difference in your exams. These may seem trivial; however, they can have more impact than you imagined.