You want to do well in your exams. And rather than the same old study hacks everyone keeps reminding you of, what you need are unique study tips. Here are ten helpful tips for exams to help you boost your studies.
1. Do things backwards
Rather than trying to fit in life around your studies, do the opposite. Your brain needs sleep to help with memory retention. It needs fuel to be able to study. And exercise helps you relax, boost your spirits and unkink your back. All three of these basics, impact how effective and efficient your studying is.
- Aim to sleep for about 9 hours, thereby factoring time to fall asleep and a realistic waking up routine.
- Schedule 2 hours to eat per day. This gives you 30 minutes to prepare and eat a meal. As well as 30 minutes of snack time that can be divided up across your day. For an extra boost, look for foods that are high in Omega fats, vitamin B and antioxidants.
- Plan an hour for exercise – this time includes kitting up and post-exercise showering. Exercise is about moving. So, it could simply be a walk or doing some stair climbing. Ideally, you want to be outside.
Now that you’ve got the three basics of life in place, establish your study cycles. Aim to study for 50 – 60 minutes and then take a 15-minute break between these study sessions.
2. Be inspired
Make a point of doing something each day that boosts your spirits. When you are in a good space and happy it’s easier to study.
3. Do a brain dump
Often your mind is full of random thoughts. Declutter your mind by taking 5 minutes to write down whatever comes to mind. Things like, “when is Ash going to message me back?” “I need to remember to buy milk.” “What medicine does the dog need?”
4. Warm up
Before exercise, you stretch. Your brain’s no different. Before you jump into your books, sit quietly in a comfortable position. Focus on your breathing and as things come to mind, acknowledge them then push them out of your mind. And then refocus on your breath to quieten and prepare your mind.
5. Go old school
Where possible use printed books or print out electronic study material. It’s been shown that studying from hardcopy material leads to better absorption and recall of information than from e-versions.
6. Listen to music
7. Eat a mint and drink some water
Reach for something minty when you need to improve alertness or your concentration starts to wane. Your brain is made up of about 80% water. Therefore, if you want to keep it at peak performance, you need to keep it well hydrated.
8. Essential oils
Use a diffuser while you study or rub an essential oil onto your skin, after mixing it with a carrier oil. According to research, some good study-enhancing options are spearmint, peppermint, sweet orange, rosemary and lemon oil.
9. Use a space repetition app
If you’re battling to remember information, download a space repetition app. Then use the app to create flashcards of the information you need to revise and schedule set times to go through them. You can add info as you study.
10. Bribe yourself with your phone
Phones are known to be big distractions. However, you can use yours to your advantage by making phone time a study incentive. Simply schedule a set amount of time on your phone as a reward for reaching a study goal.
Finding a good approach to studying for exams, sometimes means adding in these types of unique study tips. Things you haven’t tried before, but provide the missing link between a good and a great study session. Each of us is different and so sometimes what’ll work best for you isn’t what’s conventionally punted. Give it a try and take an agile approach to the time ahead. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much more you enjoy your studies.
Where to Study Next
SACAP has three faculties which can assist you in stepping into the career you want. Build a satisfying future career in helping others reach their potential, by applying to study online or at one of the SACAP campuses in Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria or Johannesburg. SACAP courses are accredited and include practical experience within selected set curriculums. Contact an admissions officer to learn more about your study options or apply online today.