“Study: The act of texting, eating and watching TV with an open textbook nearby.”
Many of us will chuckle when reading this quote as we too are guilty of “studying” but not actually studying during exam time. End of year finals are a little way off, but the time to prepare is now. Follow these 10 helpful tips and you will not only be relaxed and confident, but ready to achieve your very best yet!
Realize why you are studying
There is nothing more painful than studying for exams, while the sun is out or our favourite TV show is on. Right from the start you need to realize why it is important that you work your butt off during this last stretch and what the end results will mean to you. Once you accept the fact that your efforts will result in a positive outcome that feeling of dread will begin to ease away.
Take a good look at your exam time table. Which exams are coming up first and which will be the hardest for you to conquer? Organize your study schedule to prioritize the most difficult exams first. Ensure that you allow yourself enough time to prepare for each subject well in advance. If Afrikaans is a subject that you are great at and only need to recap a little bit, put that towards the end of your list.
Turn your notes into flash cards
Working directly from a textbook can become very tedious and actually hinder your productivity as you become bored and frustrated with the same work over and over and over again! Divide your subjects into different colours and make notes of key facts on flash cards. Making the cards will help you to learn your work and make revising more interesting the next time around!
Use the 50 minute Rule
Break your study sessions up into hours. Use 50 minutes of every hour to really concentrate on your work. Turn off your cell phone, TV and remove any other distractions so that you work solidly for that 50 minute time slot. Use the remaining 10 minutes to take a breather, get a snack and stretch your legs. This is one of the most effective ways to maintain a good study rhythm.
Energise yourself before your exam
You may think that getting some extra sleep or relaxing in front of the TV the morning of your exam is the way to go, but it’s really not. Take that free time before you have to write to go for a quick run or walk the dog around the block. Breathe in some fresh air and get your blood pumping as it will improve your brain functioning and have you ready for action!
As scary as exam time may be, you have to remember that this is not your first rodeo. You have survived the dreaded turmoil of exams before and you will survive them again. Don’t be so hard on yourself this time. Remind yourself that you can do this and focus on your studies. Maintaining a sense of calm will help you to enter each exam with ease and confidence as you know you will be ok.
Sit your family or friends down and share your knowledge! One of the most effective ways to test yourself after your study sessions is to recap and relay your new found wisdom. Teach what you have learnt to those closest to you and find out just how much you know and what they didn’t know before.
Now that you have made peace with the fact that you are in the midst of the exam vortex, you can truly dedicate yourself to achieving those top results. Set up your study schedule and stick to it. This tough period will come to an end and you will embrace freedom once again. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted or to lose focus. Every bit of effort that you make during this time will only pay off.
Make Use of that Tutor
If you are one of many students who have made the wise choice to enlist the help of a private tutor, hats off to you. Ensure that you gain as much from your tutor as you possibly can. Pick their brains, ask questions, revise previous exam papers and take in as much as your tutor can give. Maths tutors in Cape Town, for example, have studied extensively in their fields and are bursting with knowledge to help you ace your year end finals.
After each exam reward your efforts in some way. Whether you choose to chill out with a good movie or go for a coffee with friends, take a break and acknowledge your progress. These little rewards will also act as positive incentives to earn them after the next exam.
Apply these ten easy steps over the next few months and those pesky end year exams will be a walk in the park!