Everyone can relate to that moment when you decide to study the night before the exam, but for some reason, you just can’t get your mind around it. You check your phone a million times and re-read text conversations, you open all the social media apps you have and post about how difficult it is to study, or you just stare at the wall with no coherent thought whatsoever. And the guilty conscience next morning before the exam is something we’ve all had to deal with. But fret not, for we’re here to provide you with a few tips which will help you study better before an important exam, with minimal effort.
12. Use Flashcards
One of the best ways to study smart is to use flashcards. If you don’t have cards, make some with pieces of paper. It will also help you write it down. Flashcards are pieces of paper which have the question on one side and the answer on the other. You can make flashcards of important points within your answer to help remember the answers easier. Flashcards summarise the information, thus you don’t have to memorise ten pages and merely remember the important points that are essential for the question.
11. Don’t Study On Your Bed
Yes, we’ve all been tempted to study on the bed with all the notes around us, but trust us, you’re better off without it. Studying on the bed often tempts you into taking a nap instead. You can pull up a chair and study or for best results, walk around when you’re studying. This helps you both exercise and also keep your brain active enough to remember what you’re studying.
10. Try To Space Out Your Portion
This technique won’t work the night before your exam, but if you have a few days before the test, try to space out the syllabus for the exam over a set number of days. Cramming the entire portion the night before the exam, while drinking a million cups of coffee and trying to stay awake is not going to help. Divide your syllabus into different parts and study only one or two parts every day before the exam. This will help you remember the syllabus better since you’ve actually understood what you’re writing and not just memorising it.
9. Read, And Close The Book And Try To Remember
Don’t just read the portion and assume you’ll remember what to write during the exam. After reading every topic, close the book and try to remember what you’ve just read, and how you’re going to write it in the test. You’ll be surprised by how much you didn’t pay attention to. Also, the points that you couldn’t remember will now stick in your head and you’ll be able to write them in the test with ease.
8. Try To Study From Printed Notes
While studying from the laptop or your smartphone seems pretty convenient, it can often lead to other activities like use of social media apps or watching funny cats on YouTube. Rather, try to print out your notes and study from them. Studies have shown that your brain will slow down while reading from notes on your device. Your brain processes print notes faster, and thus you can be done with your studies earlier than if you’re using electronic devices for reading your notes.
7. Music Helps You Study Better
While we’re not telling you to fire up Beyonce while you’re trying to study, classical music has proven to help your brain grasp your study material much easier. If you’re not into classical music, choose instrumental versions of songs and listen to them while you’re studying. Your brain will be active and alert while you’re studying with music on in the background. Choose instrumental versions because otherwise, you’ll be stuck with some song lyrics in your head and the entire point of using music to study better will backfire.
6. Write Down What You’ve Just Learnt
The best way to remember something is to write it down. This classic old advice works perfectly when you’re studying for an important exam. While you don’t have to write down the entirety of the answer, write down the important points of what you’ve just learnt. Writing it down helps you remember all the points easier.
5. Coffee Will Be Thy Saviour
Studies have suggested that drinking coffee (or in some cases tea) can help you study better. We all know caffeine’s ability to keep our mind alert, so it just goes to show that it will be your best friend when you’re trying to study. Drinking coffee immediately before studying will help your mind be active and grasp the information quicker and better.
4. Take Breaks In Between
No, we don’t mean the kind of break where you just forget about your studies for three hours. Take a 15-minute break in between your studies every few hours, since it will allow your brain to recharge itself. Do whatever you wish in these 15 minutes- watch TV, meditate, stare at the wall, dance, sing- whatever will get your brain to relax but also at the same time still alert enough to continue studying after 15 minutes.
3. Don’t Try To Multitask While Studying
Many people try to do ten things at once while studying. They are reading the notes but at the same time checking their email and also rearranging the cupboard. Multitasking your brain in different activities when you’re trying to study is a sure shot way of ensuring that you don’t remember anything that you’ve studied. Keep the rest of the activities at bay when you’re in front of your notes. They can wait, studying cannot.
2. Try To Reward Yourself
A good way to finish studying faster is to reward yourself after finishing each topic. You can buy a box of chocolates and each one after a topic, or check your social media apps, or watch a new episode of your favourite TV show. No matter what you choose to reward yourself, the prospect of it will make your brain much more focused on completing your studies faster.
1. When You’re Done, Stop!
Once you’re done with the entire syllabus, stop. When you try to learn the same thing again and again, your brain will automatically start forgetting what you’ve learnt. Studying smart is much better than studying for a long time. When you study for a long time, your brain shuts down and refuses to take any more information. At the same time, when you’ve finished studying everything properly, you can refresh it at some other time.
Not all study techniques work for everyone since we’re all different. Switch up between techniques to see what works for you. And don’t try to cram all the information in your head. Perfect grades won’t give you a noble prize, and bad grades aren’t the end of the world. Just study as much as you can properly, and understand what you’re learning, don’t just memorise it. It’ll be in your mind for the rest of your life, trust us.