Are you one of those people that are motivated by the beautiful weather, ready to get their things done and take over the world?! Or are you just panicking on the inside because deadlines are approaching, too many things are flying over your head, waiting, and you are sitting in the park with good music, food, and close friends?
Either way, stress is lurking. Do not give in. Everything can be handled and you can do both! What is the key? PLAN and ORGANIZE. I know, easier said than done… But discipline is something you need to start nurturing as your personal quality in order to achieve any future success. Not everyone learns at the same speed that is why you need to figure out how much time should you devote to a subject. Pulling an all-nighter and getting the desired grade sounds great for my procrastinating IwannawatchNetflix part of the brain. But if you just look at the long-term unhealthy effects of it and the always high risk of failing, I am sure your inner “I love you, don’t do this to yourself“ voice is going to make an intervention.
The Study Routine
In order to help you find your perfect studying routine, I have collected some tips to choose from so you can create the most effective one. To some who can relate, first, I’ll write about what I usually do (not to be bragging but it works every time). In the beginning, I look through the subjects I actually have to prepare for. Once I determine which ones I am most familiar with, I start making a loosen schedule to give myself a basic framework. The first fields I try to conquer are the ones I am least familiar with. They are more time consuming and I want to make sure I properly understand what I am studying. When it comes to the actual act of studying, I look for an enjoyable working environment.
What I try to avoid most is seeing my bed and the “too cozy” feeling in general. If you have a proper writing table in your room, great – make that coffee and give it a go, but my experience taught me libraries are my best friends. The thing that helps me the most with the studying process is leaving 2 or 3 days extra to go through everything by explaining it to someone, or even just to myself. This way I truly determine how much have I actually learned. Also, what is really important for me is to drink a lot of water, do some exercise cause you don’t want to be sitting all day, and of course: get some sleep before the exam!
Now, if my studying routine isn’t much help, I hope these few tips will be.
Determine what kind of learning style is best for you
Visual learner? Try using different colors for your key points. Depending on what you are studying draw a sketch that can help you understand what is written. Video tip: CrashCourses on YouTube.
More of an auditory type? Reading the notes out loud should help. Perhaps record yourself reading it, so you can play it anytime you want!
1. Take breaks
Nothing helps your brain like a time-out. Let it process the things you stuffed in! Overworking can only create a contra-effect.
Creating a quiz or some flash cards could help your memory boost, and also it makes everything more fun!
3. Train your memory
It might seem like random advice but while studying use a specific smell/flavor/drink… That is going to remind you of the things you have studied when you use it again once you are taking the exam. You could even try with an exotic chewing gum flavor.
4. Study group
If you are a team player and you have friends alike, organize a study session. You can create new ways of studying by helping each other out. But remember, you should always get yourself familiar with the topic before actually engaging in it with someone.
5. Use the internet like a pro
Google is your homie if you know how to use it. Here are some hacks I’m sure you are already familiar with but I’ll put it as a reminder.
APPS. Take a break from Fortnite and addictive word games, and install some apps that are going to make you say “Thank you Times International”. First off – SelfControl – it allows you to block distracting websites for a set amount of time. If you have some troubles getting up with that first alarm like I do Sleep If U Can is the app for you. Babylon can translate anything you need in 75 languages while GoConqr will help you design any quiz, flashcards, mind map or online notes.
Videos. Again, especially if you are a visual type of learner, finding documentaries, adequate TED talks, even cartoons, could definitely extend your attention.
Walking: Speaking of attention, to be focused on the test and get your brain engines going, studies show you should be active before the exam in order to perform better on it. So don’t be lazy and at least take a walk to your university, warm up your brain and your body!
Hey, we are all in the same boat here, you might as well try out the new things. If you are curious for more tips, there might be some unmentioned in the links to my sources. I do hope this helps out or creates new ideas. All in all, I’m wishing you have a successful, non-stressful exam period!