7 tips to ace your exam

My article from Femina


Expert Speak: 7 Practices You Never Knew Could Enhance Exam Performance

A question that probably lingers in the mind of every student is, “How do I become perfect in exam preparation?” The answer to this question is like an asymptotic to a curve – you cannot exactly reach it, but you can get close to it. To ace your exams, you need to perfect your preparation techniques.

Treat studying like a 9-5 job, so when you unwind in the evening, you won’t feel guilty. Also, by implementing a routine, you will teach yourself that during these hours you must be doing things relevant to your studies like revising for an exam, doing the required reading or working on assignments/projects. Give yourself an hour’s lunch break like at a workday and then at 5 pm you can wrap up. This can also help reinforce a healthy sleeping pattern which will improve your memory.

When you understand a concept, memorisation follows naturally. Try to understand the core of what you’re learning and build upon that, versus memorising for each test and forgetting afterwards. This will also help you master your final exams!

For those moments when you can’t conceivably have your nose stuck in a book – while you’re walking, driving, exercising, folding laundry – considering listening to a recording that complements your studying. Whether you have recordings of your professor’s lectures, found a podcast on the topic, or taped yourself reading over your notes, plug in your earbuds and listen up. This is especially helpful for auditory learners who do best when they hear (and not read!) information. 

Now, this tip might only work for particular subjects, as not every subject or degree has pragmatic answers in exams and coursework. However, for instances where you and your course mates have all had to read or memorise information for an exam – get together and have a quiz night. Create a set of relevant questions and answers, get into teams and quiz each other. Hopefully, the competitive streak will help you remember information and also have fun.

It could be chocolate, 10 minutes of social media or television or maybe a nap, the choice is yours. When you have something to look forward to, you’ll tend to be more dedicated to finishing that task. No cheating, though.

Within 12 to 24 hours of the test, it’s time to stop studying. You’re not going to learn a lot of new content. The likelihood is much higher that you’re going to stress yourself out and confuse yourself. For the last-minute studier, flashcards can be a good resource. They can earn you a few more points on test day, and it’s a much healthier thing to do than starting on page one of the textbook.

t cannot be stressed enough how important this factor is. If you eat heavy, unhealthy foods late at night, your brain isn’t going to be in prime form. As such, it’s especially important to factor food into your study routine! Fruits and nuts are particularly good choices during munch time. And fuel goes beyond what you’re putting in your mouth: Getting enough quality sleep and taking some time to recharge is also super important. After all, what’s good for the body is good for the mind.

In conclusion, one simple fact that students tend to forget is that relaxation is not a luxury. It is a necessity, especially while preparing for examinations or your brain will be in a daze. Studying can be mentally exhausting, and if you don’t give your brain some rest, it will burn out. But relaxation should not become procrastination. Ensure that relax enough to re-energise your brain.

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