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How to study for exams

Nothing instills fear and anxiety in the minds of students like a big test. Wanting to study is one thing, but it can be difficult without proper guidance. It’s important to build good study skills early in your schooling which will carry you throughout your career.

Firstly, find out the kind of exam you will be sitting for. It may be essay exams multiple choice exams or an open book exam. Different types of exams require different study strategies. Here are some tips to study for exams which will be very helpful to you:-

1.Begin your study earlier with a calm and positive attitude:

Panic will make your situation worse. However, if you are calm and motivated about what you are about to learn, you will have an easier time learning it and remembering it. Don’t let yourself, “I’m never going to learn this.”

2.Determine what material needs to be covered:


Most exams cover specific subjects and material, and it’s important to know which material you need to study. Otherwise, you may be using your precious remaining study time incorrectly. Ask your teacher about the subjects you’ll be tested on and which chapters you need to cover.

3.Schedule your study time:


Create and stick to a good study schedule. Take the time to think about when you are most alert and able to concentrate. You will be more productive at that time. You will retain more information if you study a bit each day rather than cramming at the last minute. Remember to incorporate breaks into your study schedule. Breaks give your brain a chance to absorb what you just studied.

4.Organize your subject material:


Gather the materials for each course. Make sure you have a complete set of course notes and copies of any handouts, slides or visuals. Make sure they correspond to the topics in the course outline.

If you’ve missed lectures, find out whether they have been recorded and catch up. Borrow copies of lecture notes from another student and review any lecture slides and handouts available. Make sure that you have copies of any extra readings or materials distributed in classes. Once you have a complete set of course materials, you can study by topic.

5. Figure out your study methods:


If you are a visual learners, diagrams, and pictures can help you remember. Auditory learners should listen to lecture recordings or make their recordings of notes that they can listen to later. If you are a physical person explain key ideas aloud to yourself while moving around. Explore different ways to help you remember key facts and to increase your understanding of the main concepts. Remember, that everyone has different methods to study, what works for your best friend may not work for you.

6. Find your resources and ask questions:


Your textbook, notes, online sources, classmates, teachers, and possibly your family members can all be of use. If you’re studying and happen to come across a part you can’t understand, write it down. Ask your teacher either during class or after class. And don’t worry while asking a question, that doesn’t mean that you are dumb. It means you are actively paying attention and you’re learning.

7. Memorize as much as possible:


The key to top performance is the ability to memorize all relevant materials. There are tricks for helping to memorize, otherwise called mnemonics. These can include, for instance, poetic or rhyming mnemonics for the auditory learner, visual imagery and fantasy for the visual learner. Repetition is another form of memorization that is most commonly used. It allows for high recall if practiced at regular intervals.

8. Organize yourself for the test:



Be sure you have what you need for the test the night before. It may be a calculator, pencil, watch, etc., you must have them.

9. Eat properly:



Good nutrition is vital for optimal thinking. Try to stay away from high sugar and fatty foods such as ice-cream and cookies. Replace sweet sugary drinks with a cool glass of water or fresh juice or milk. Have a “brain” meal the night before. Try eating fresh vegetables. Eat a good breakfast. It will keep your mind alert. An example of a good breakfast is a glass of juice, an egg, toast, and cheese.

10. Get enough sleep before the exam day:



This step is extremely important and cannot be skipped. Without sleep, your chances of doing well on the test quickly lower, because your brain can’t focus on what it needs to.

If you can’t get to sleep, try some warm milk or tea, but be sure there is no caffeine in your drink.

Do not alter your sleeping patterns. Go to sleep at your regular time to keep your sleeping patterns regular.

11. Turn up ready for the exam:



Set your alarm clock in the morning, arrive on time or even a few minutes early. If it’s a test that requires registration, fees, identification and like this, schedule extra time for that.

Keep a positive attitude! Studying a lot, but thinking you can’t ace that exam, will reduce your chances of succeeding. See yourself as acing it, relying on all the preparation and attention you’ve given your studies to this point as such confidence is the key to success.

Aim high. Don’t just aim to pass the exam, aim to get an A+.

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