How to Survive Exam Season
With exam season fast-approaching, you might think that it’s time to stock-up on energy drinks, and lock yourself in the library, but that doesn’t have to be the case. With a forward-thinking attitude and a bit of planning, you’ll sail through your exams. Follow these study tips, and you’ll be on track in no time.
Study When Your Brain is Awake
You should leave every study session feeling more knowledgeable than when you went in. A classic error that people make when studying is to find a seat in the library and work for hours on end. The reality is that we all need to sleep, and when you’re feeling tired, your brain won’t function properly; your ability to take in information will be seriously reduced and you’re more likely to procrastinate when all you can think about is going to sleep.
To avoid wasting your time, it’s best to establish what time of day you work best, create a strict study plan and stick to it during that time – this way you’ll have enough time to rest and won’t forget any important information.
Cut the Distractions
When you’re in college, you can let yourself go a bit, but exam season is the one time of the year when you have to be strict with yourself and cut the distractions. We know that new Snapchat filter is amazing, but it’s an unnecessary distraction that’s stopping you from studying properly – the same rules apply for the rest of your social media apps, so allocate some time where you can turn your phone off and get your head down.
Once you’ve turned your phone off, let your friends and housemates know that you’re getting started on your study session and not to disturb you. If you find that you generally can’t concentrate knowing that your friends are socialising in the next room, take yourself to a quiet location like the library or a coffee shop – here you can get on with some work, distraction-free.
Plan and Prioritise
When you think about all the exams and assignments that you’ve got to prepare for, it probably seems like an impossible task. To make it easier for yourself, work out how much time you’ve got between now and each exam, and map out the units that you need to study in order to pass. This will enable you to take in the information gradually rather than cramming it all in the night before.
If you find that you’re a bit behind with your revision already, then you should figure out which areas are most important, and how they will impact your overall grade. By doing this, you will know which topics to focus your time on, giving yourself the best opportunity to succeed.
Look After the Body and the Mind Will Follow
You’re probably thinking ‘Why do I need to stay fit when I’ve got exams to focus on?’ Well, studies show that there is a relationship between how well you look after yourself, and how well you perform academically.
This is because eating the right foods release certain chemicals in the brain that enhance your ability to learn, so altering your diet to include brain foods will help you in your studies. The same rules apply for exercise – because physical activity makes you feel more alert, you’ll be ready to learn more, meaning you’ll absorb more information when you revise.
This one is easier said than done, but overthinking your studying is the best way to get yourself into an unproductive slump. Once you’ve created your plan, put the workload to the back of your mind and focus on the task in hand – otherwise you’ll waste time stressing over what you’ve got left to do, rather than actually doing it.
Stay Ahead in College
If you put in plenty of effort, exam season won’t be as difficult as you expect. To make your revision that little bit easier, take a look at how you can make the most of your time in lectures, or keep an eye on our blog for the latest tips on student life.