How to Prepare for Exams: What Are the Best Strategies for Students?
Mar 27, 2023
Imagine those days when exams are only two weeks away, and you have not prepared anything. The syllabus has just been completed, revisions are yet to be done, and you don't remember anything you've studied. Perhaps, we all have been there. Studying is quite a task, especially when you need a well-planned strategy in your mind. In this blog, we shall discuss how to ease the studying process and create a well-balanced studying strategy following some techniques.
We all have probably been guilty of procrastination, especially when it comes to studying. However, no matter how much we procrastinate, we cannot deny that revising every day after school will help us retain more of what we were taught. That is where studying early comes from. If you start early, you have to spend less time regretting not having time to study and focusing more on actually studying. So, it is better to start studying as soon as possible and not wait for your exam schedules to knock on your door. Set a routine, and get yourself ready to spend a few minutes revising what you learned earlier that day.
Understand, don't memorise!
Memorising has been common among students, but what is the point of memorising when we cannot grasp what we have learned at times of need? Thus, try to understand and interpret what teachers teach. Moreover, studies have also proved that students are more likely to understand the subject matter when they teach it to somebody else. We do not forget things easily when we understand them, but it is quite the opposite when it comes to memorising them. When we dedicate time to understanding a subject, we engage in deep learning and build information and concepts for future use. Understanding will let you describe something in your own words and even teach it to others to help them understand the subject (Comprehension vs Memorisation: How to Study Smarter, 2022).
Don't go overboard
Do you remember the days when you have only one night before your exams, you decide to pull an all-nighter to study, and on the day of your exam, you remember absolutely nothing? It is not your fault; it is scientifically proven that when you overboard your mind, you are less likely to remember stuff. In 2009, for example, Nate Kornell at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that spacing out learning was more effective than cramming for 90% of the participants who took part in one of his experiments (Stafford, 2014). You know what to do now, schedule your studies, and stop cramming one night before your exams.
19th-century English Novelist George Eliot said, "No one can be wise on an empty stomach". As simple as it may sound, taking an exam or preparing for one on an empty stomach is a bad idea. Moreover, filling yourself with unhealthy junk will keep you tired and sluggish. Healthy food has been shown to improve brain function, memory, and concentration (Tropati, 2023). Thus, if you have an exam coming near, restrict your diet to healthy food that will keep you active for the rest of your day. That, in turn, will help you concentrate better and understand what you have studied.
Get good sleep
There is no denying the fact that quality sleep makes a person much more productive, even during exams. During exam days, a good six to eight hours of sleep is recommended to help refresh your mind and remember what you have learned better. Excellent sleep habits have been shown to consolidate memory and improve academic performance, as well as reduce the risk of depression and other mental health disorders (Sharp, 2022). On the contrary, it is also proven that students perform poorly in exams when they do not get adequate sleep. When students are sleep-deprived, their ability to focus and retain information can suffer. In addition to this, children are more likely to have attention and behavior problems, which can contribute to poor academic performance in school (Sleep and Health | Healthy Schools, 2023).
In conclusion, studying is a crucial part of a student's life, and it is essential to have a well-planned strategy to make the process easier and more efficient. Starting early, understanding rather than memorising, not overloading, eating healthily, and getting good sleep are key techniques that can help students improve their learning and prepare better for exams. Remember, the effective and optimum utilisation of technology and a School Management System to review notes, look back at teachers' feedback, and so on can also help you identify the areas you need to focus on. By following these strategies, students can not only retain the information they have learned but also improve their overall academic performance and mental health. Remember, there is always time to start implementing these techniques, so start today and see the difference it can make in your academic journey.