10 Best Ways to Study for Exams

10 Best Ways to Study for Exams

In this article we are going to talk about the 10 Best Ways to Study for Exams. The one season in the year which most students despise and never look forward to is the exam season. Exams have become such an integral part of our lives without us even realizing it. But have you ever thought why students have this aversion towards exams?  Students aren’t afraid of exams; it is the psychological fear the fills their mind about the consequences and criticism they have to face if they don’t perform as per the expectations set by the people surrounding them.

I’m pretty sure we all have that one relative we never even knew existed but magically pops out of nowhere when it is time for your exam results. Such behaviour by family and friends instills a sense and need in students to excel, to keep up with the standards set for them by others. This goes entirely against the purpose of an exam which solely aims at testing your understanding and learning, and only motivates you to learn further and arise from your mistakes. It is merely a platform for you to showcase your learnings and improve, not another reason for you to be compared with others.

10 Best Ways To Study For Exams

Amidst all this chaos, students are expected to be focussed and study with maximum concentration. It is tough to change the mindset of people and is a slow process, but in the meantime, here are some of the most effective and practical ways you can apply in your lives to prepare for an exam.

1. Prepare your own notes

Prepare your own notes

This may be one of the most cliché answers for study techniques for exams but trust me this is one of the most effective techniques. When you go through your materials you understand what is trying to be explained. But when you put it down on paper in your own words, it becomes easier for you to recollect during the time of your exam as it is deeply engraved within you. Preparing notes can also make it easier for you to revise daily as it will consist of the most important points and will make it easy for you to rush through your memory with just a single glance.

You can even make this more interesting by using different colour pens and make it more appealing to your eyes, rather than studying the dry content right off your dull textbooks. The feeling of studying from the notes prepared by your very own hands highly boosts your confidence as well, because you feel like you know the topics and will be in less panic as your exams approach.

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2. Explain your understanding of topics to others

Explain your understanding of topics to others

This is again another effective tool that can be used to prepare for exams. When you try to explain topics and concepts to others verbally, you form a chain or series which continues as and when you explain yourself to others. This becomes very useful while you write answers in your exam in a neat sequence and maintain it throughout, which leaves a good impression on the teacher as well.  In this process, the listener may also add some key points which you might have missed. It is also a great chance for you to gain some insights from the opposite person as they might have a different understanding regarding various topics, which will make you think from different perspectives. Doing so also improves your memory and makes you much more thorough with your concepts as you will be exposed more to doubts and questions.

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3. Break complex topics into smaller chunks

Break complex topics into smaller chunks

There are many subjects which have very detailed topics with a high level of technicalities and detail-oriented explanation. These topics may be explained in a very dry and platitudinal manner in your books, which is why it is better to break them down into smaller sections and focus on one section at a time and finally integrate the entire thing to form your final concept. This will help in a better understanding as well because you tend to pay more attention to the details in each section which you might have even neglected otherwise. Another important thing is to not neglect any topic and give equal importance to all the concepts because at the end of the day, it is going to benefit you.

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4. Try to study in the morning in a good environment

Try to study in the morning in a good environment

Your mind is highly activated and fresh after a good night’s sleep and you should put this to your maximum advantage and try to use it in activities that require lots of focus. You will be able to learn topics faster and in a more efficient manner. Study in the pace that best suits your comfort and avoid group studies, because we all know that studying is the last thing that happens there. Apart from this, chose open spaces with good ventilation and abundant light to keep your mind recharged and open to learning. Try to study in different spots as well rather than sitting in a fixed place, as the environment you chose plays a crucial role while studying.

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5. Fix a timetable for yourself

Fix a timetable for yourself

It doesn’t end with that; you must strictly abide by it and not skip anything as per the assigned tasks. You don’t have to be overly ambitious and set unachievable targets for the day. Keep it simple and effective and ensure that you don’t waste your time. Time management is a crucial aspect while preparing for exam and it is up to you how you want to exercise your control over time in your hands. But make sure to take regular breaks in between studying and keep your body and in healthy and balanced. Try to stick to the timetable as much as possible and do it with complete discipline and dedication because time never waits for anyone and once its gone, you can’t do anything but just wish you’d utilized it wisely.

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6. Study on a regular basis

Study on a regular basis

Most of the students face a problem in studying for exams because they pile up everything to the very last minute. Such practices are not at all beneficial and will only increase your stress. You can do anything, but you can’t do everything at a time. Procrastination breaks down the best of the best people, and students are still young and very vulnerable. Study on a regular basis for some fixed amount of time and keep getting your doubts clarified and concepts clear then and there rather than pushing it all to the last moment when you are so tensed about being able to finish the syllabus, that nothing enters your head. Always be prepared like your exam is the next day and have constant touch with your books, without overexerting yourself.

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7. Use acronyms or mnemonics

Use acronyms or mnemonics

Every student is inclined to something in their life. If you can relate your study material to those, or create short forms or drawings related to your concepts, you have a much higher chance of retaining it in your, memory and recollecting it as and when required. Associating your favourite songs or movies to learning makes it fun as well as beneficial. These topics will stay with you for a much longer time as you associate yourself to it and it will extend beyond your exams too. You can also use other tools such as flashcards, flowcharts mind maps as a retention strategy.

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8. Refer to question papers and practice tests

Refer to question papers and practice tests

The only way to check your progress is by giving frequent mock tests. This is very useful as you gain control over yourself and are more prepared to answer questions in an exam. It will help you identify your weak spots and pay more attention to those areas rather than focus on the rest. You will also know how to divide your time in an exam according to your pace. Referring to previous year question papers help you understand the pattern of questions and the kind of answers that are expected out of you so that you can prepare accordingly.  This will also be helpful as a revision of all your topics.

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9. Don’t overexert yourself

Don’t overexert yourself

Never get panicked by seeing others progress, you must follow your pace but ensure you finish all the topics well in advance. Keep your calm and maintain a healthy diet which also involves adequate physical activity for yourself to stay fit. Don’t focus on a single subject for too long or try to multi-task, don’t try to cram yourself with information the night before the exam and never try to learn anything new in the last minute. Just be thorough with whatever you know and attend the exam with a calm and composed mind.

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10. Refer to online videos and reference materials

Refer to online videos and reference materials

Don’t narrow your knowledge to just what is given in your books. Try and explore more books about the topics that intrigue you and grow your knowledge rather than restricting yourself to only one book. There are several online videos that will help you comprehend topics in an easy manner as well, with a better explanation. Just study with an open mind to learn newer things each day.

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Just by following some of these basic tips and practices, you can improve your preparation pattern for your exams. Don’t get too stressed while doing so, it is just a platform to test your understanding. Do it for yourself and forget about the rest of the world. If you follow this, you will automatically yield better results as you will have a calm mind, clear of any fear of the consequences or criticism. We must work hard and try to improve over time and make the most of it, rather than being degraded by your performance. At the end of the day, every student is unique, and you can’t expect every single one to perform in the same manner.

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