by Katie Nicol | Principal SchoolAdvice Academy. | [email protected]
Exam period can be a stressful time for many students, so we’ve published a Top Ten SchoolAdvice Study Strategies list that can help ease anxiety and let students be confident when writing their exam.
Your study sessions should be calm and relaxed. If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or uncomfortable while studying, it will be very difficult to retain information.
For students who have difficulties staying focused, short and frequent study periods are essential. Know your limit! You will be able to get more done in a shorter amount of focused time than longer study periods with loss of concentration. Example: If you can keep focused for 40 minutes: Study for 40 minutes, then take a break for 10 minutes, return to study for 30 min. Repeat. Your 10 minute break should be to relax your mind, whether it’s having a snack or get in some physical exercise. Avoid any kind of screen time during your study break.
Time & Place
If possible, choose a time of day where you have the most energy and ability to focus and choose an environment that makes you feel relaxed and is devoid of distractions. (Turn off your phones!)
While studying, think about what questions can be asked and how you would answer them. If the information doesn’t seem important to the subject material, don’t spend too much time on it.
Some students listen to music while they study. Listening to music that you listen to regularly or calming, classical music can also help in retaining the information that you are studying.
Write your notes by hand. Although many students spend their time studying on a computer and taking notes on a tablet or laptop, you are better able to remember your material when you write your notes by hand.
Study for the style of exam. If it’s multiple choice, you’ll need to know definitions and concepts. For essay exams, focus on your understanding of all the concepts presented, with examples in mind.
Make some noise
Read out loud. To prevent entering a trance-like state where you’re reading without really processing, start reading out loud. It’s one of the oldest and lo-fi study hacks, but also one of the most effective
Fuel your brain with healthy, whole food snacks. Fruits and nuts are great sources of fuel for snack time while studying or before taking your exam.
Finally, when you sit down to take your exam, take three slow, deep breaths to relax and remind yourself that you are ready to take this exam.
Tips for Multiple Choice Exams
Read the question first, don’t look at possible answers. Do you know the answer before looking at the possibilities. Choose it and move on.
If you’re unsure of the answer eliminate the ones you know are not possible.
Use grammatical clues in the question to eliminate other possible answers.
If an option is completely unfamiliar, it’s most likely not the answer
If you are stuck on a question, move on to the next one and go back later.
Once you’ve done the entire exam, you may have found hints and extra information that can help you answer the questions you weren’t sure about. (You can usually find a lot of hints and reminders in others questions throughout the exam).
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