If you’re currently studying for your exams and need some fail-proof ways to help get you started, here are our top 5 study tips to give you the best chance of success.
Go through everything with a fine-tooth comb
One of the best ways to improve is to learn from past mistakes. This literally applies to everything in life, but particularly when you’re preparing for your exams. Instead of hoping for the best, assess all your past papers and think about where you went wrong. Did you feel a sense of panic that stopped you from answering the questions properly? Or did you simply fail to prepare?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the first question and felt a sense of exam anxiety before you went into the exam then don’t panic. There are plenty of meditation techniques you can try beforehand to try and calm yourself down. One of the best ways to combat this is by telling yourself you’ve got this! Because you really have. If you follow all the tips on this list then you’ll definitely be more than prepared when you go into the exam hall.
If the second question applies more to you and you didn’t study hard enough in the past – now is the best time to address that. Take the time to go through past papers and highlight all your previous weaknesses. If you need to talk to your tutor or instructor for some advice, go armed with notes to run through so you can have a meaningful discussion about it.
Practice makes perfect
The best way to get prepared is to practice, practice, practice! Do as many test papers as possible for all your courses – the more you do, the more you’ll get used to them and the less you’ll panic beforehand. When it comes to your practice papers, find yourself a room with quiet conditions to try and emulate the exam experience. Set a timer, put your notes to one side and just write as much as possible.
To find possible exam questions, talk to your tutor first to see if they can set you any that you can take home and try. Or if you’re trying to source them yourself, head online and find study websites that already feature questions you can use. You could also try creating your own flashcards with questions on one side and answers on the other. If you like to work collaboratively, find a partner and take it in turns asking each other some of them.
The same can be said for setting up a study group. Get your classmates to come to the session armed with questions you can ask each other and have fun while bridging the gaps in your knowledge.
Use flow charts and diagrams
If you’re a more visual learner, you may find that creating flow charts or mind mapping graphs can help you picture the things you’ve already learnt. It can also help you join the dots between theories and subject matters to help your courses make more sense overall.
If you’re not a fan of graphs then lists can help too. Number your points in order to memorize them or colour code related points.
Plan your actual exam day
A few weeks or days before your exam, start to consider the following things:
- What kind of exam do you expect to be taking? Is it multiple choice or will you have to write an essay? It would be good to familiarize yourself with the kind of exam beforehand, so you don’t encounter any surprises.
- How important is this exam to your entire grade? All exams should be taken seriously, but if it’s worth more overall then you’ll need to give your studying extra care and attention.
- Go check out the exam hall (if you can) to familiarize yourself with the environment.
- Get a good night’s sleep the night before and clear your head!
Whatever you do, don’t cram
This is one of the best pieces of advice we can give you. Bide your time, get prepared and focus on the important things. Creating a strong study plan will give you the best chance of success, so in the weeks leading up to your exam map out certain days that will you spend to each subject. Stick to it! Think about the subjects you’ve already been studying and what is most likely to come up in an exam. Review each day on your study plan and make sure you’ve achieved everything you wanted to from it.
Most of all… Don’t leave it all to the night before!