Exam season is fast approaching, and it’s now time to sit down and hit the books. Whether you’re a kinesthetic learner, visual, auditory or writing, there are certain ways you can ace your exams, without having a breakdown halfway through Swotvac.
Make A Cheat Sheet & Cue Cards
One of the basics when it comes to acing your exams is to write down all of the essential fast facts that you may need for the exam. Whether this be in the form of cue cards or a cheat sheet, write them down and learn them. Depending on the exam, if you’re allowed to bring in a cheat sheet or not, you can begin rote learning your facts. Rote learning is basically memorising the facts by forms of repetition. It doesn’t work for all exams, bare that in mind, but it is a great way to help spit out any fast facts for multiple choice and short answer questions.
Amanda Lecaude from Organising Students shares her tips for creating a study planner, and how you can effectively study. “It’s better to study for shorter periods, as they are more effective than really long blocks. Don’t get overwhelmed. Set goals and work towards them by understanding how you best study. Follow a routine whilst having down time too. If you lose concentration, stop studying and do something else – but decide when your next study session will be and what you will study.” Find out more about Organising Students by following them on Facebook.
Avoid All-Nighters & Sleep More
If you’re trying super hard to remember all of your facts and figures, pulling an all-nighter isn’t going to help you. In fact, it may prevent you from learning much at all. Not only do all-nighters screw up your circadian rhythm, it can damage your mental health and make you sick. Yes, really. When you pull an all-nighter, you send your body into sleep debt, which prevents any new information being processed in your brain. You know when you’re so tired that the words you read on a page don’t go in? Yeah, that’s because of sleep deprivation. When you pull an all-nighter, it will stop the information from retaining, and with the lack of sleep, your mood will fluctuate and your immune system will then, in turn, drop. So basically, all-nighters will just make you tired, grumpy, sick and you won’t even be able to remember what you were trying to retain.
Reward Yourself With Incentives
You can’t move forward and succeed with studying and information retention without some sort of incentive. Whether this be taking a break every 90 minute blocks of study, placing a chocolate or lolly on every second page of your textbook or just taking out twenty minutes to grab a coffee and check your phone, incentives refresh your brain and condition you to keep studying. Incentives are often likened to operant conditioning, which occurs when you receive rewards for completing certain tasks. After a few hours of study, treat yourself by getting off your executive office chair and taking a walk outside. It will help.
Move Study Spaces
If you’re feeling like you’re in a state of stagnation when it comes to your studies, it may be best to relocate. If you study in the same space every day, you can decrease your levels of information retention. If you move spots every day when you study, you can increase your chances of retention. So, if you find yourself studying in your university library every day, why not switch things up and study in your room instead? Obviously, switch off all distractions, such as YouTube, stay off Instagram and Facebook, sit on your memory foam mattress topper and hit the books. This switch up in environment can force your brain to try and remember the information better, as you’re preventing it from conditioning itself to only recall information based on that environ.
Ben Conway from Tafe Courses shares his tips for acing your exams. Study less. Yes, this might sound strange, but knowing when to start and stop is super important in” order to ensure your brain functions at full capacity. Even well-managed procrastination can be good, according to Dr. Marty Lobdell, a Psychology professor at Pierce College. In a message that will no doubt appeal to the easily distracted among us, Dr. Lobdell recommends studying in small doses, 25-30 minutes at a time, keeping simple notes, and focusing on recollection rather than using cues to help recall information. Simply put: if you get your studying right to begin with, you don’t have to worry about that Netflix binge or afternoon nap, and you’ll end up better prepared for an exam than your mate who has spent 12 hours in the library having a last-minute cramming sesh.” Find out more about Tafe Courses by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
With exams approaching faster than the Maglev train, it’s important to keep yourself in a good mental state, get plenty of sleep and avoid all-nighters. Steph Lowe, the Natural Nutritionist from the Fitness Show, suggests that a great way to avoid 3:30-itis is to "minimise refined carbohydrates and manage your overall carbohydrate load It’s simple physiology that excess carbohydrates will spike the hormone insulin and start the blood-sugar roller coaster. This cascade is what keeps you hungry, causes cravings and ensures 3.30-itis is a regular occurrence. Instead, focus on eating an abundance of non-starchy vegetables, quality protein and good fats with each meal. It is important to also be mindful of your fruit intake. Fruit is, of course, healthy, but excess fructose (the fruit sugar) can be detrimental to your blood sugar and craving control. Fruit is best kept to one to two serves per day." Find out more about the Fitness Show by following them on Facebook and Instagram. Best of luck!