Many times, we feel like we are unable to study well enough for our exams. Our study method is not appropriate, and we are taking much longer to learn than expected. At times we feel like we know enough and have studied substantially, but when we enter the examination hall, we struggle to remember key points. Don’t worry; you are not alone! This has happened to some of the best of us, and we find ourselves lost when it is the actual time.
For those of you who have seen Limitless – no, unfortunately, we do not have the magic pill that Bradley Cooper discovered that made him an overnight genius. There is no such instant solution to help you process absurd amounts of information. However, what we do have are a few tips that can help you excel at your next exam.
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First and foremost, if you are studying in a different city, reduce the burden on yourselves. Do not take up a living space or accommodation where much of the responsibility falls on you. No matter how sorted you think you are, scramming to study when there is a deadline and having to worry about things like food, laundry, and essential cleanliness simultaneously is not the best situation to be in.
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It is always preferred to study a bit in advance instead of running a marathon study session the night before an exam. Spacing out your studying over time is a much better way to understand and retain information. This is especially effective when you need to memorize copious amounts of data. Study in batches and prevent an information overload overnight.
When you are distracted, you can’t study because your attention is elsewhere. Switch off those Instagram notifications, don’t worry about what your friends are doing, and keep your phone silent. These little things help you commit to your studies with all your brain and heart. You can take a break every 45 minutes to focus better. Do not multitask; let your brain focus on one thing.
If you are studying a broad topic like India’s independence or cellular processes in biology, break the material down into chunks. Focus on one incident or chapter at a time and revisit it from time to time. Quiz yourself about it and try and write some key pointers down. This way you’ll remember things and can easily jot down points during exams.
We often ignore the easy stuff or discredit minor topics assuming their low weightage in the paper. However, these are sure shot marks that you are giving away. Revise the small concepts and easy topics even if you think you know them because it is not worth it to lose marks for careless errors or because you forgot to memorize a key formula.
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Sure, it may sound fun to bunk a few classes, but college is, anyway fun!! Even if you manage to attend those classes, you get enough time with your friends. Missing a critical lecture can put you at a disadvantage. Make sure that you go to class, or even if you do miss it, catch up. Ask your professors for some time or speak to someone who attended the class to learn what you missed.
The day before the test is not the time to learn new things. Revision is the key. Review your notes and pointers on this date to cover your entire course. This will bring back and refresh everything that you have studied.
You do not want to be shocked when you receive the question paper. Be prepared for what you can expect. Before you start studying for the exam, get clarity about:
When it comes to learning, everyone has a unique style. It is important that you identify what is helping you learn and retain information faster. This could be making notes, reading and re-reading, highlighting key points in the textbook, writing down keywords, doing practice tests, or turning notes into flashcards to better memorize. Some people study better in the library, some alone in their PGs. See what works for you and follow that.
With these few tips in hand, studying can be fun. Play instrumental music, light a candle, turn off those distractions and get your nerd mode on. Trust us, a little effort and dedication can go a long way in shaping your future.