Last exam period passed a few weeks ago and as i can recall, as exam session was approaching, the panic started to strike! So I want to share some methods I used this time that were excellent for tackling this panic. Knowing how to prepare for exams is the key to avoid stress and make sure you are ready for writing an exam.
1. Make a Study Plan
One common mistake, specially if you are an International Student is that you start studying very close to the final exam. This is too late!! The key to break the cycle caused by stress and saturation for exams is to think ahead and create an effective study plan. This will help you to be organized and make sure you covered all the topics needed. The time will depend on the amount of topics covered, but I will suggest to start 1 month before, in order not to be in a hurry.
2. Take a break!
We are not machines, so it’s important that you maintain your concentration without distractions. The key for achieving this is to study in intervals. In my experience studying between 1 hour and 1.5 hours is the ideal timing of study before a taking break. Experts recommend 1 hour, anyway, I always make sure to take a 20 min break before studying again. Taking regular short breaks not only help improve your focus, but can boost your productivity too.
3. Shake up your routine!
Spending all night in the library can be draining. According to the New York Times and Suny, simply alternating the room where a person studies improves retention. Try alternating your study spots between the library, a study room, a quiet coffee house or if the climate allows, go to a park or a quiet spot outside that can be relaxing and help you focus.
4. Minimize distractions
A lot of people likes to study while listening to music, texting friends, or watching television, but according to different researchers and Suny, this makes less likely for them to retain information. If listening to classic music makes you focus, go ahead! But remember the key is that you know yourself, avoid distractions and keep focus!
5. Create Study Groups
By the time finals come, you should know your classmates pretty well. Select people who you know you work well with and are motivated to achieve good grades. Sharing ideas and clarifying each other doubts about the topics learned is really helpful for retaining concepts.
6. Sleep Well
Avoid the “all night long”. This is a bad idea. Get a good night’s sleep, resting is really important in order to be productive the next day. Particularly you need to make sure to sleep at least 8 hours before taking an exam.
7. Be Positive
Your attitude has a big impact on the the effectiveness of your learning process. If you keep saying that you can’t do it then you won’t and study will likely become more difficult. Instead, focus your mind on positive outcomes and on how you can use your individual strengths to achieve them.
Finally, is important to mention that there aren’t any rules when it comes to prepare for exams or how long you should work for. Everybody is different, so the best way is to see what works best for you and modify what’s needed for assuring effectiveness.
You can do it! MIB’s Los geht’s!!