Recently, I’ve been trying to pick up differences in the ways I study and the way some of my friends study and I feel like almost every single one of them get stressed during exam time. The main reason? They wait too long to start studying and then freak out when they realise how much they have to do. And then there’s me, completely chill, got all ten hours of sleep and feel ready to set the exam. That’s not because I’m some kind of genius, it’s all because I start studying for exams the very minute school opens. Sounds weird, (and slightly nerdy) but by consistently studying a bit everyday, it’s so much easier to do well in exams. Before I give you my tips, there’s one thing you should know….
- DON’T leave studying till a week before an exam— I feel like a lot of people say that you should start studying early, but their definition of “early” is a week. How are you supposed to go over a whole year or half years worth of work, do practice questions, figure out what you need to work on, get help and clear your doubts and make sure you have everything you need to know in a WEEK? It might work for some of you, but for most, that’s the worst thing you could ever do.
So onto my ways to study for exams the minute school opens!
1. In each class, write down a couple of dot points about what you covered that lesson. For example, I’ll use Biology. If your teacher covered osmosis, diffusion and active transport in a lesson, write those topics down. Don’t be lazy about this, because if you do it consistently, at the end of the year, you’ll have a rough revision sheet of all the topics you need to cover in the exam before the teacher even hands them out.
2. Everyday, or even every two days, go back over everything you’ve learned so far. The method I like the best to do this is to read through the notes once and write up questions, so I can make sure I know the concepts. My textbooks also have questions at the end of each chapter and after a few concepts, so i look for those and do them as well.
3. Pinpoint what you don’t know straight away. If you’re going through your algebra work and can’t do certain questions, find out how to do them as soon as possible. That way, towards exam time, you won’t have a whole bunch of stuff you don’t know how to do.
4. Try to get work done everyday. Everyone’s busy and everyone deserves some downtime away from school, but try to at least study 45 mins to an hour everyday. It’ll get you in the habit of working and you’ll get stuff done without even realising it.
5. Get ahead! Ask your teacher what the next topics he/she is going through will be and find out if there are any exercises or questions they want you to focus on. Finish up the chapter your class is working on and keep moving forward if you’re done before everyone else. Not only do you get more time to learn all your information and don’t have to deal with the stress of having exams around the corner and your teacher still has completed the syllabus.
7. Remember that you can always learn more. If you’ve written all your notes for the next five chapters, done all the questions, got any questions answered by the teachers and are sitting back thinking, what now? DON’T forget about your work. That’s just as bad as studying a few days before the exam. Find practice tests or worksheets that deal with your topic online, watch revision videos on youtube, use different methods of studying like flashcards, try studying with other people, or even become a tutor if you think you’re good enough at the subject. All these will help your mind to not forget about what you’ve learned and help reinforce it.
So those are my tips for studying for exams from day 1. I’ve done all of this and continue to do so, and can’t remember the last time I actually worried about an exam. I hope I helped!