Exam time can be hugely stressful. They usually make up a sizable chunk of your grades, and so the pressure can be enduring. Some people seem to have a knack for it. The exam system is really a test of how well you can study, and how well you can perform under pressure, as well as a test of your knowledge. Knowing how to approach study time can make a big different. Here are 6 highly effective study habits:
- Approach Study With A Positive Attitude
Telling yourself that you are “no good at exams” or that you will “definitely not do well” is not constructive. This is what is known as a limiting belief and it will affect how you approach the exam, and the preliminary study period. A defeatist attitude only leads to negative expectations, stress, anxiety, and a feeling of unwillingness to work… what is the point, after all, if you are destined to fail?
If you think positively then you will remain relaxed, retain more information, and perform optimally. Instead of limiting yourself with absolutes, ask yourself what areas you need to improve, and where you need to focus your study. Focus on positive thinking, and positive action.
- Environment Is Important
If you are studying at a university then it may be wise to use the facilities that they provide, such as the uni library. This way you are working in a predefined environment which is tailored towards getting work done.
You can also choose to work from home, but this will require a much greater effort to control the environment. You should be free of distractions, in a quiet place where you can focus, which is free of clutter. Social interaction during study time should be kept to a minimum, perhaps in breaks, unless it is directed towards the study.
- Teach What You Have Learned
One of the most effective ways to learn is to teach. This helps you to retain the information, and also guarantees that you have enough knowledge to feel comfortable passing it on to others. It is a very valuable study technique. Group learning is the ideal scenario for this; each person functions as both a teacher and a student, sharing what they know and validating each others ideas against one another’s.
- Don’t Just Read The Information
Reading over information is the least effective way to study. You retain very little, and you are not setting up triggers that will help you remember what you need come exam time. Remembering someone else’s words on a dull page is not easy. Instead you should find creative ways in which to learn, suited towards your style and inclinations.
Examples include speaking aloud, paraphrasing and condensing information into your own notes, using diagrams, pictures, and color, completing practice papers, and making games and activities, such as quizzes. There are many enjoyable ways to learn, and doing any of them will help you to retain and recall your knowledge on the day.
- Take Breaks
Take regular breaks. This is crucial. The stress of the impeding exam might make you want to study all day and all night long, but this is the worst idea possible. Your brain gets less effective at absorbing information after about 50 minutes, and completely ineffective after an hour and a half. You should take a small break every hour, and during this time it would be useful to stretch your legs and get the blood flowing, possibly get some fresh air. In general you should try to stay healthy and well rested at all times, especially when the exam gets close. You need to be at your best for maximum performance.
- Keep Calm And Work
There is no need to panic. Just follow the advice here and keep at it. Stay relaxed and focused and make sure you keep up a consistent rate, with quality study time.