Preparing for exams can be a very stressful time in the life of a student. While it is essential to cover the syllabus, it is also necessary to effectively utilize the available time & resources. There is no uniform protocol to adhere to, so here are some proven methods to help prepare better and stay focused. Follow these simple tips to avoid exam anxiety and achieve the goal of acing exams.
- The Mental Warm Up – The first and essential aspect of preparing for exams is warming up your mind. When you have a plan, you must have your body and mind in sync with your aim to attain 100% results. It would help if you always had a good night’s sleep, drink plenty of water and eat healthy snacks like fruits, dry fruits, etc.
- Time Management – Managing time by making schedules, study plans gives every subject equal attention, ultimately boosting your test performance. Students must always study in intervals by giving themselves 5-10 minutes breaks. This will help them stay focused for long and keep the boredom away. Taking breaks in between the study schedule is a proven method of effective learning.
- Systematically Review Class Notes – Students generally don’t have an eidetic memory to remember everything ever taught. Their memory is short-lived, and so, it is essential to divide the enormous data into smaller, manageable parts and focus on it regularly.
- Lookout for Free Study Aids – There are various applications, websites, and platforms available for the students to help them study for exams. Websites like testbook.com help students with interactive lecture videos, mock tests, details about the examination they appear for, etc.
- Set Specific Measurable Goals – It is crucial to make a list when you plan your studies and set achievable goals. Setting goals boosts your motivation and reduces procrastination as having a clear goal in front of you helps you focus.
- Timely Self-assessment – A study in 2011 showed that re-reading, highlighting, and revision are useful but are incomplete without consistently practicing testing on the things learned. According to the Association for Psychological Sciences, practice exams are a highly effective studying technique.
- Develop Summary Sheets for Important Concepts – Preparing summary sheets of the lectures and important concepts while studying helps the student last minute revision. The process of making the summary of ideas in itself becomes a way to review the material repeatedly, registering it in the mind of the student for the long term. Reciting the key content after thorough research with teachers, seniors, and other classmates on the essential topics establish a quick and efficient technique, yielding better results. The students should analyze the exam papers of the past years for a clear idea of the kind of questions and topics that are repeating and are essential.
- Come up With Creative Mnemonic – Using mnemonics while studying is a very creative way to remember things. Keyword mnemonics improves learning, recall and organizes information into smaller, more comfortable word groups. Some students also utilize techniques like making a jingle or a song of the content to register it with the brain and retain the information for a more extended period of time.
- Don’t Do it Alone – Group studies, when done right, can have more advantages than studying alone. The student will be able to ask questions, explain concepts, clarify doubts, and review the study material. It will also give you a change of perspective, helping the student with critical thinking. You can learn new note-taking methods, and since the student is responsible for not just themselves, they will manage time properly, curbing procrastination. Group studying also relieves stress and makes the studying experience more enjoyable.
With the constant comparison and competition, the students end up in an anxiety whirlpool, making them unproductive. Hence, managing performance expectations is essential to avoid performing poorly in the examination. Many students study while listening to music, texting, or while watching TV, but they don’t realize that the information absorbed during that time is not retained. Listening to mellow instrumental music can be permissible can be useful to focus.
As mentioned above, the pointers are just guidelines that one can follow to develop one’s style of studying to prepare for exams and set realistic expectations for themselves. Having set expectations achievable based on preparedness will help the students control the anxiety they face just before the exams. The students should also be well-versed with all the exam-related details like date of the exam, place of the exam, syllabus, etc. to avoid any last-minute hassles. Studying and preparing tools that the students can use from improving their time management to producing revision material.