1. Plan Ahead – The moment you receive your exam schedule, diarise it so you have a visual idea of deadlines and exam dates. This also helps you to prioritise.
2. Create a (realistic) study time-table – Allocate study time each day to focus on a particular subject. If there is a subject that you find extra challenging, allocate extra time to it. Take into account other commitments you may have, like lectures, working on assignments, social time and personal chores/errands. Allow time for breaks in between study sessions. Commonly, 40 minutes of studying, followed by a 20-minute break, can be used as a guideline.
3. Remove distractions – You typically focus at your peak when there are minimal interferences. Tell everyone that you are studying and do not wish to be disturbed. Put your phone on silent and out of reach. Download any information you may need and then turn off the internet. If there are lots of outside noises such as construction, traffic etc. consider studying on campus or at your nearest public library.
4. Identify your learning style – Many of us intuitively lean towards a particular way of processing information – it could be visual, auditory or kinetic. Try this questionnaire to help identify which style you lean towards: https://www.businessballs.com/freepdfmaterials/vak_learning_styles_questionnaire.pdf. Look out for a future post about the different techniques you can implement.
5. Harmonise mind, heart and body – Exam time is stressful and can be taxing on the mind and body. Try to keep both in top shape by drinking lots of water, eating regular, healthy meals and having enough sleep each night. Keep the body moving by doing some exercise as we often sit for longer when we are studying. To help the mind relax, try yoga, or engaging in your favourite hobby. For your emotional health, chat to your loved ones, or video-call your best friend.
6. night before – make sure you have everything you will need for the exam including spare pens and pencils. And don’t forget your student card. Avoid pulling an all-nighter as your brain will likely be tired the next day. Rather go to bed early, get up earlier than usual, have a quick study session, a nap, breakfast and then head to campus. Last-minute cramming can put extra pressure on the brain and should be avoided.
7. Treat yourself – After the exam is over, treat yourself to something small, be it your favourite doughnut or a long nap. Once you feel ready, you can then tackle the study process for the next exam!