What's in this guide ?
“Exams are fun” – said no student ever.
It is that time of the year again when students start worrying about their exams. It is certainly one of the most stressful times in any students life.
But there are ways to manage the stress, anxiety and be well prepared for the exams.
So in this article, we are going to give you top 12 tips for your exam preparation
1. Prepare Nice and Early
Now, our parents, grandparents, teachers and every one who have been through exams will say this to you “Prepare Nice and early for your exams. Don’t leave anything for a last minute”.
And to your disappointment, they all are telling you the right thing.
Having prepared well in advance for your exams make life so much easier.
Of course, there will be still some anxiety and nervousness for the exams but that is very normal.
2. Get organised
It is important that you get the things organised before start preparing for the exams.
There are many things you will need to organise like your study space, books, notes, stationery, computer, comfortable chairs, etc.
One of the other stressful thing is to find things on or a day before the exam. Some of the common things that can cause stress include:
“I can’t find my Student ID card!”
“Where is the exam hall?”
“I forgot to my stationary kit for my exam tomorrow”
These little things can cause more chaos than the exams themselves.
Make sure you have all the things you need to carry along with you when going for an exam. Also locate your exam halls, address and work out how to get there as well. Unless, the exam is online, then you may not need to worry about these things but still might need to be aware about the login details etc.
Create a checklist of things you need to prepare for the exam day.
3. Have clear goals
When you start preparing for the exams, it is important that you set clear goals for your study session.
For example, you might want to set a goal like in next hour, i will cover 3 topics of this chapter.
Having a clear goals for your study sessions helps you to stay focused and it helps you measure your progress.
Remember, “What can’t be measured, can’t be done”
4. Eat healthy food
Having a quick unhealthy meal is always an easy option, especially during exam times.
Buying a $2 cheeseburger from Macca’s or just having that MSG filled noodles again.
Sounds familiar, right?
While, certainly the convenience is there for eating junk/unhealthy food but it doesn’t help your exam preparation.
Eating healthy and nutricious food can help you stay active and be more focused than eating unhealthy food.
Planning your menu ahead before the exams can be great idea for those healthy options.
If you don’t feel like cooking during the exam time, then freeze some home cooked food in advance for those long study sessions.
Also, you eat more fruits as they don’t require the same efforts as cooking a full meal.
Avoid sugary and energy drinks too. They might give you a quick boost but you will feel tired after it lose its effect.
5. Work with your peers
That can be quite fun for studies but challenging at the same time.
If you can find a study buddy and work together to study and motivate each other, that can be great positive thing. Not only for your studies but your mental well bring as well.
You can discuss topics together, work on each other’s strengths and learn from each other too.
But, having friends over for studies can also means distractions and not getting much studies done, rather lots of chit chat for random things.
So, the idea will be to plan this session with your buddy before catching up and work out which topics will you discuss or learn during the session.
6. Visualise everything
It is a proven strategy to memorise and learn some key concepts.
Now, we don’t suggest you to cram but there are some things you will need to remember to do well in our exams.
If you can actually draw charts, diagrams, mind maps of the content you need to memorise, then it can help you remember those key concepts.
The idea here is “a picture can say 1,000 words”.
Having a visuals for your learning during exams can be great. So we suggest you to create these visuals from your lecture notes and resources like books etc.
7. Use technology
When planning, preparing for your exams, technology can be a great help.
Let’s talk about lecture notes first.
Imagine, having all the lecture notes in hand written notebook and trying to find those key things lecturer said in that pink coloured highlighted notebook.
Don’t get it wrong, we are not against handwritten content at all but we are giving you exam tips, so every minute counts in this time.
Having a planned layout of the notes in these softwares can be very efficient way to go.
There are other aspects related to your exam preparations like bookmarking on the websites, timers on the phone, etc.
8. Get a break
Studying for a very long time can be exhausting.
It is important to have breaks in between the study session in order to keep yourself fresh and be ready for those longer sessions.
Ideally, you should be taking breaks every hour or so during those study sessions. Looking too long in screen can be harmful for your eyes anyways.
So split your study sessions and have some break and do some simple exercises or just go for a quick walk.
Have you hear about Pomodoro technique?
It has worked wonders for our founder, Sam and he explains in bit more details here:
9. Limit distractions
Aka Phone usage. Aka Social Media. Aka Friends. And the list goes on!
You will need to limit all your distractions while studying for your exams.
In a perfect world, you should be studying in a distraction free space. So, if you live with lots of mates in the same house and they don’t have exams, then consider to study in quieter space like library.
For the phone usage, pretty easy, turn it off.
Unless you are expecting some emergency/important calls, there will not much that you will miss.
Having it on mute can be still tempting to check it. So, just switch that thing off and focus on your study.
May be reward yourself by checking after every successful study session.
Or if you want to check the time, then no problem, buy this alarm clock from Ikea for $5.
10. Get moving
As mentioned briefly in the one of the previous points, you study to get yourself moving by doing some simple exercises or a walk.
The basic aim is not to get stuck behind the desk for hours but rather during your break time, try to move around and so some streching.
Don’t also go for a hardcore exercise as well as you might feel too tired for studying and will be falling asleep during study.
So, some strectching, excercise or walk will do.
11. Get help
If you are stuck and need help, then don’t hesitate to do so.
Most of the schools, institutes, universities will have support services available for their students.
So, if you need some assistance for your exam preparation, then reach out to these services.
Also, speak with your lecturers, tutors, family and friends and get some help from them.
There are paid counselling and tutoring services available for the students, so if you can afford, you can use those services as well.
12. Be creative
Well, we gave you a whole list of tips in the article, but this last tip is as important.
You can come up with your own strategies and ideas when preparing for the exams.
While the above mentioned tips have worked wonders for many, it is not always suitable for everyone’s lifestyle.
So, if you are comfortable in doing certain things in your own way, then you should go for it.
And now, over to you.
What other tips or strategies, do you use for your exam preparations? We would love to hear your ideas. Please put them in the comment section below.
Check our infographic on 5 effective ways to study here.