Doing well on your upcoming exams can require a good deal of preparation. This is especially true if you’ve been out of school for several years or if you’re applying to a competitive college or graduate program that accepts a limited number of applicants.
Here are a few revision tips that will get you off to a flying start.
Formulate a revision timetable
Researchers have shown that shorter study spells are far better than lengthy study spells. The optimum study period is 20-30 minutes because your concentration is much higher. It is recommended to take frequent short breaks as well as to mix up the subject matter that you are studying.
Give yourself enough time to study
Don’t leave your exam preparations for the last minute. Cramming the night before is not the best study technique to follow when preparing for your exams. Create a calendar with all your exams times. Identify which subjects are your weaker ones and devote more time to these subjects.
This cannot be emphasized enough. Exercise and physical activity are extremely important especially during stressful and intense study times. Going for a short 30 minute walk or jog after a full day of revision can have a tremendous impact on your health and wellbeing. Not only will you be able to unwind, any physical activity will help increase your heart rate which in turn helps with your overall blood circulation and pressure. More oxygen is pumped to your brain which helps to increase productivity and at the same time reduce tiredness and lower your stress levels.
Find a quiet space
Create your own personal study area where you can sit uninterrupted and concentrate on your learning material. A quiet area at home, your school, a public or university library are prefect places to study. Make sure that you have all the necessary pens, pencils and study material at hand. Be careful about frequenting a local coffee house to revise. This might be a popular option, however it is not the best solution for everyone given the interruption that can be distracting.
Get an early start
The best time to study in first thing in the morning. Studies and research have shown that if you get an early start, you are more likely to get through your planned study material for the day. The concentration level of the brain is far higher during the morning period. As the day moves on your brain becomes tired and there is a far higher tendency to want to get outside as the evening draws near.
Study in a group with friends
Group study can be a perfect way to revise your study material. Ask each other questions and listen to different answers and opinions. Answering question will assist you to clarify the subject material in your head. If you find it difficult to explain a specific answer, perhaps you might spending a little more time on that area of study.
Feed your brain
Try avoid eating junk food. Rather opt for a bowl of nuts, berries, or carrots. Not only will this energize your brain but is is good for your waistline as well. During stressful exam times it is imperative that you nurture and fuel your brain with nutritious food such as fish, nuts, yogurt and blueberries.
Mix up your study techniques and revision
Make use of different colors and mind maps to help memorize all the study material and facts. It is a proven fact that colors are far easier for the brain to memorize and absorb important facts rather than plain black and white.
Test yourself with past parers and exams
Ask your teacher or professor for past papers and exams or do a Google search. It is a fact that there is far more emphasis on exam technique and by familiarizing yourself with these techniques prior to taking your exam can save time and also help to improve your final results. More often than not, examiners are not interested in creating innovative questions. There is a good chance that if you do 3-4 past papers when it comes to exam day, you will find the question look familiar. This will help to put your mind at ease and concentrate on writing good answers.
Create summary notes
By far the best way to memorize all the facts and information is by making summary notes of your subject material. Just by reading a textbook will create a false impression that your time is being used productively. The best way to imprint all the facts and information into your brain is by making notes over and over again. It might seem tedious and a boring activity, however the most successful students generally make as many as 3 or 4 sets of notes prior to exam day.
Don’t forget to reward yourself
It is imperative that you take good quality breaks from your studies. It is not all about studying and trying to memorize all the facts and subject material. Individuals who are able to find the right balance between study and leisure more often than not obtain top marks. Go out for a nice dinner or movie with friends or family after long productive day of revision and studies.
Don’t forget to sleep
Research has shown that students who do not get enough sleep over the weekend often forger as much as 30 percent of the study material they have worked on the previous week no matter how many hours they have been studying. Sleep is important to help the brain retain facts and will sharpen your concentration and focus.