(HigherEducating.com) – That big final exam is just around the corner! Studying for an exam can be incredibly challenging for students. Some people find the sheer prospect of test time intimidating, while others struggle with prep. Regardless of what you struggle with the most, these “golden rule” guidelines will help you ace the grade.
Utilize Spaced Repetition
Does it feel like you study, but the information just doesn’t seem to stick? Spaced repetition is the process of being reminded about a specific fact by increasing time intervals to help retain information better. Using this method, your brain begins to recognize the facts more readily. This may be a helpful tool to use just before the big exam day.
Create a Spreadsheet
Sometimes the hardest part about studying is getting organized. Browser bookmarks and copies of notes can sometimes be helpful, but are easy to forget or misplace along the way. Create a spreadsheet and track all the subjects you need to study.
Check out Ali Abdaal’s technique here:
On your spreadsheet, color coordinate subjects and sort per what you need to prep for. Add spaced repetition to boost study time even further. We recommend Google Sheets because you don’t have to worry about saving or transferring your work.
Relaxing The Night Before
Aside from studying and staying organized, an important tip for exam time is to get plenty of rest. Cramming in information might feel necessary, but a tired mind isn’t sharp, and that can be even more detrimental. Getting enough sleep helps the brain retain key information you’ve already studied.
Sleep helps your body avoid sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep leads to troubling symptoms like fatigue, dozing off, forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating.
Sing It Out
Have a math formula or date you need to memorize? Sing it to the tune of your favorite song on the radio right now. Dance, too, even if your dorm roommate thinks it’s dorky. There’s good evidence that the brain is more likely to remember those little facts if you put music behind them — perhaps because music and math are directly related.
Work on Visualization
Sometimes, remembering key study notes is a challenge because it lacks interest. Try using visualization to enhance study skills.
Using your list of notes, start associating each answer to something that you’ll remember. This could be an animal, a color, or even a person. This can help create firmer ties in the mind, making it easier to retrieve on exam day.
Also try making up real-world scenarios using people or places you know that put the info you’re studying into practice. For example, let’s say you’re studying the Constitution and how it was formed. Picture yourself and your friends dressed up as the Founding Fathers — it’s silly, but it works!
Looking at things in a different or more interesting perspective can be really powerful. In fact, sometimes it’s all it takes to lock vital information down pat.
Exam time is all about moving one step further toward graduation. Whether it’s memorization, visual aids, or using a handy spreadsheet, don’t be afraid to try things out and discover what works for you. Staying hydrated, eating a healthy meal and catching up on rest is also vital to performing at your best.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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