It comes slowly. Everyone knows it is coming. We all anticipate it. We sort of expect it. Some of us secretly hope for an alien intervention to prevent it from happening…but alas, Exams come like a thief in the night and robs you from your sanity. Your hands sweat, you have headaches and you can’t sleep. Your social life is ruined. All you can think of is the exams…
Or, you can plan your time properly. If you plan your study time, use a couple of techniques, get regular exercise, eat properly and stay calm, you can actually enjoy the exam time. Let me say that again – “you can actually enjoy the exam time”. For starters, you are going to need a plan. Start with the developing your own project plan, about a month before your exams start. How many subjects do you have? How many exams are coming up? Determine how much time to spend each day, and for what subject. Then develop a project plan. Allocate total time to a subject. Then, break it up. Say Monday 2 to 5 is Maths. Monday evening 7 to 8 is History and so on. No you have a schedule. However, only part of the plan.
You can search the net for a whole lot of study techniques and that maybe a good idea. However, at the end of the day there are a couple of basics to follow:
- Make sure you study in the quietest place you can find. It does not matter where. You choose. Make sure there are NO distractions. No playing with the dog, no “just doing this” or “just doing that” in between.
- Make sure your friends know when you are studying. In fact, tell them, and tell them that you wont be available to visit or play in your study time.
- Focus. It does not help you sit in front of the books, staring out the window. You must be engaged in the material. This you do by working out a system. Subjects like Economics, Biology and so on, can be taught by making summaries. Develop potential questions, and come up with a table of contents for each. Then, list some pointers under each heading. It is easier to remember your table of contents than it is to remember the whole thing at once. However, the way your mind works is that, once you have the contents, you remember a bit under each point, and a bit under theses sub points, and soon you have the whole picture.
- Always write when you learn. Being a bit old school, you should rather write than type. This way you are more engaged. Use those coloured pens as well. Colour is a memory stimulant.
- Some of us can study with music. However, be careful what you listen too, as the beat must be right. Maybe replace the words on your favourite songs with words from your learning. Then, in the exam, you imagine the tune in your head.
- Diet is very important. I am a believer in brain foods. Make sure you avoid the chips and all the fatty foods. You can Google food types best suited for exam time. Personally I think avoid the wheat stuff. I find it slows you down. Protein often works better than carbs.
- Gym time. Do add your gym time on the study schedule. It is an important part of brain function. Keep the blood circulating.