We are approaching examination time and here are some tips to help you manage your study periods and examination period. Try one or all of them to help you at this busy time.
Try to go for a walk before an exam. It’s been proven that exercise can boost your memory and brain power. Research provides evidence that about twenty minutes exercise before an exam can improve performance. So allow time to walk to school or hop off the bus a few stops earlier.
Speak out loud instead of simply reading. Read your notes out loud, may seem a bit silly but it will embed the knowledge in your memory. Warning: Don’t try this in a crowded library!
Reward yourself with a treat. Integrate a reward system into your study habits. Treats can range from watching your favourite show, going for a walk, chatting on your phone (make it brief) or having a hot chocolate break.
Teach what you have learned. The best way to test if you really understand something is to try to teach it to someone else. Share your knowledge with a friend, sibling or parent.
Create mental associations. The ability to make connections is not only an easier way to remember information, but it’s the fuel of creativity and intelligence. Use mind maps, other graphic organisers or even different coloured pens and highlighters.
Draw diagrams. Drawing diagrams will help you to visualise information which would be hard to describe. This creates a visual memory in your mind which can be recalled in an exam!
Times New Roman is the fastest font to read. There’s a reason why Times New Roman is the default font on most applications!
Use Apps to block distracting sites. Are you always checking Twitter or Facebook? There are apps out there that can help you to avoid distractions by blocking websites for a certain amount of time. Check them out @ http://99u.com/articles/6969/10-online-tools-for-better-attention-focus
Create flashcards for quick memory buzz. Quickly test your knowledge of key concepts, definitions, quotes and formulas with flashcards.
Take regular study breaks. When your brain is working, you need to take regular study breaks to help your brain absorb more information but also to keep you motivated and focused when you are working. Take a short break after 45-50 minutes study as your focus and concentration will become impaired after this period, anything new after 1 hour 30 minutes does not get assimilated.
Listen to the Correct Type of Music. The correct types of music can lead to more productive studying by elevating your mood. Have you made your Mozart Spotify playlist yet? Here is a link to some music for reading – Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Debussy, Liszt, Schumann @https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc7UzQB8gtI
Practice, Practice, Practice…Practicing sample answers to past exam questions can help train your brain to retrieve information. Create a realistic, exam-like condition and test your understanding.
Don’t stay up all night before an exam. This should go without saying; make sure to get adequate rest the nights leading up to your exams. When you sleep, your brain assimilates the information you have learned when studying so getting a good night’s sleep will help you remember those pesky maths formulas you need for your exam!
Study in a Group. Studying in a group can help you collect new insights to enhance your learning experience. Share notes on Google Docs so members of the group can all access them and add notes in real time.
Lastly, try to relax and stay positive Studies say that meditation can help students stay focused when studying. Not only will meditation help you concentrate when studying but it will help reduce pre-exam stress as it improves both mental and physical health. It’s amazing how a positive attitude can impact on your exam results or motivate you to complete that assignment when all you want to do is go to bed!
Mrs Karen Pentland