Learning how to study for exams involves creating effective study habits that not only make it easier to learn, but also help you get better results.
How to study for exams: 5 tips
1. Plan a study schedule
Ensure you study all of your material on time with a realistic study schedule . This will help you to know where to start and what you aim to achieve during the day.
With a plan in place, you’ll be less inclined to procrastinate, as knowing how to use your time will also mean you make the best use of it.
Everyone’s job type and commitments are different, but here are some tips on how to study for exams with a realistic study schedule:
- Keep a variety of subjects. Plan difficult tasks for when you work best and easy ones for when you are less alert.
- Prioritize and set a goal for a certain amount of study time, for example, a topic in two hours. Focus on one task at a time.
- Include other important things like sleeping, exercising, breaks, meals in your routine;
- Before ending the study day, decide what you will study the next day.
And the most important thing about how to study for the exam is: be flexible. Don’t throw in the towel your day doesn’t go 100% as planned. Make some adjustments and move on!
2. Prepare your study area
Give yourself the best environment in which to focus by choosing a place with enough light, a comfortable chair, and little or no distractions.
Sit down with everything you need – and only the things you really need – like books, pad of paper, as well as water and healthy snacks close at hand.
This is something very simple but very effective in helping you to focus and avoid interrupting your study time. Also ask yourself what you DON’T need.
A rule of thumb for studying for exams is that if it doesn’t help you study, it shouldn’t be on your desk.
This behavior can mean your success or failure in the final result when you are focusing only on your cell phone…
3. Stay Healthy: Eat, Sleep, and Exercise
Somehow there never seems to be enough time for the basics like sleeping and exercising when exams come up.
Taking care of your health and well-being will really help you study better, boost your memory, mood and energy levels, and keep your stress levels down.
When it comes to sleep, it’s probably no surprise that the ultimate goal is enough – seven to nine hours is a good benchmark.
For the best sleep quality, try to avoid screens (computer, cell phone, tablet, TV) for about an hour before bed and caffeine for 4-6 hours, and give yourself a little time to wind down before bed.
If you’ve tried but can’t sleep, get out of your room and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy.
Staying hydrated, eating at least three meals, and sticking to healthy snacks throughout the day will give you the fuel you need to stay focused.
If you’re feeling a little low, try going outside to get some fresh air and get moving. A good goal is 20 to 30 minutes of exercise, but even a walk around the block can make the exam journey a lot better for you!
4. Minimize distractions and overcome procrastination
Okay, you knew this was coming – to study for exams effectively, you need to avoid distractions as much as possible (after all, Insta and Facebook don’t help you study). If you find yourself picking up the phone to procrastinate, stop and take a proper break then.
Procrastination often happens because you are struggling to start a task. It sounds too difficult, too boring, or maybe too much for your head. Our advice? Break that cycle!
Small achievable steps like putting a time limit on things are an effective way to eliminate bigger tasks and stop procrastinating.
Still having trouble getting started? Tell yourself you’re going to sit down and commit to just 25 minutes. This will help break the inertia of starting to complete things. Learn how to put this strategy called the pomodoro technique into practice.
Focus on starting, not being perfect, and remember that something is better than nothing. Reducing procrastination and staying on task means you won’t feel guilty about not studying for exams when it’s time to take a break.
5. Take breaks for your well-being
Making the most of a good exam study break will help you be more productive when you study. Take regular, rejuvenating breaks from your study area and do something different.
The exams are a lot of work, but remember to have fun, relax and see your friends in moderation too. Studying hard means setting reasonable goals and rewarding yourself when you reach them.
Did you go through these tasks in your study time of the day? Enjoy your Netflix guilt-free!
And remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, talk to a friend, family member, or teacher.
When you’re struggling to study for exams, think about the big picture and the goals you’re trying to achieve.