Are you preparing for an important exam and feeling a bit overwhelmed? You’re not alone! Many students face the challenge of exam preparation at some point in their lives. The good news is that practical habits are designed to simplify the student’s exam preparation, reduce stress, and boost their chances of success.
Whether you’re cramming for final exams, studying for professional certification, or just seeking to improve your test-taking skills, healthy exam prep habits make a big difference. With the right preparation, you’ll walk into your exam feeling confident.
Let’s explore these five effective, healthy studying habits that must be practiced today.
- Organize Your Study Time
Not all subjects or topics are equal when it comes to the level of difficulty. So, carefully review what you have studied and determine where you may need more or less time.
It also helps to identify your peak study times and match subjects accordingly. Morning hours may be best for memorization, while complex topics are easier to comprehend in the afternoon.
It’s also worth noting that studying each day is better than cramming. Spreading out studying helps you remember and connect ideas better. With a daily study routine, your brain can fully focus on learning. Over time, going over key ideas again and again will help them stick and allow you to excel in academics.
- Understand Your Learning Style
Understanding and studying in ways that align with your unique learning style can boost engagement, productivity, and retention. There are assessments that you can take to determine what your learning style is.
Evidence-based teaching strategies for test prep may also be given to assist students in having a deeper understanding of their lessons, no matter what their learning styles are.
Below are the four learning styles:
- Visual learning: Creating diagrams and color-coding notes can help visual learners understand concepts better and organize information. Watching explanatory videos is another useful study strategy.
- Auditory learning: Discussing material in groups and reading notes aloud helps auditory learners internalize information. Recording lectures allows them to re-listen for retention.
- Reading/writing learning: Taking substantial notes, reading them often, and rewriting materials reinforces learning for reading/writing-oriented students.
- Kinesthetic learning: Hands-on activities, walking around while reviewing, and taking active breaks help kinesthetic learners absorb material through doing and moving.
- Take Good Notes
Taking good notes in class is very important. After all, just listening to the teacher won’t be enough to remember things later. By writing down the key points in your own words, you can learn better.
However, the key is not just to copy everything word-for-word. Make notes that organize the ideas in a way you understand. This will help you remember the information and study better.
Here are a few good ways to take notes:
- The Cornell method: This note-taking strategy involves dividing the paper into three sections. The biggest section is for writing the main ideas, facts, concepts, etc. The bottom is for summary. The other side is a space for cue questions or keywords.
- Mind mapping: Draw a circle with the main topic in the middle after class. Add more circles with connecting lines to show how ideas are related. This makes a map of the topics.
- Sketch notes: Use short words, little pictures, arrows, boxes, and colors to make your notes more fun and memorable.
- Eat Nutritious Foods
Nourishing your body with nutritious food allows your brain to retain more information and helps you focus easily. So, fill up each meal with nutritious foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meat, and good fats. This balanced diet gives you lasting energy and brain power.
Here are some tips to ensure that you’re feeding your body:
- Skip the sugary snacks and junk food that lead to energy crashes later.
- Snack on foods that stimulate memory, like nuts, seeds, and berries. They deliver nutrients that sharpen focus for hours.
- Stay hydrated, and limit caffeine and carbonated drinks intake.
- Learn How To Manage Stress
Stress and anxiety are common during the exam season. However, it helps to acknowledge that certain stress levels are a natural response to challenging situations like exams.
Stress can serve as a motivator, pushing you to study and perform at your best. But when stress becomes overwhelming, it can hinder rather than help your exam preparation.
Here are some tips to relieve stress before taking the exams:
- Prioritize Sleep: Lack of sleep impairs cognition. That said, it helps to invest in blackout curtains if needed to optimize sleep quality. A well-rested brain performs best under pressure.
- Meditation: Daily meditation sessions, even starting with 5-10 minutes, can strengthen mental resilience. It cultivates present-moment awareness, filters out unhelpful thoughts, and provides inner tranquility to counter the stress of exams.
- Yoga: Combine yoga poses with deep breathing. It enhances flexibility and relaxation and may sharpen mental focus for academics.
- Take Breaks: Remember to schedule regular 10-15 minute breaks after concentrated 50-minute study blocks. Transition to a different task like walking, snacking, or casual reading to give the brain periodic rest.
Good preparation is key to doing well on exams. It takes real effort, starting early on the way to test day. These healthy habits can help enhance how you study, remember material, budget time, and ease stress.
However, keep in mind there’s no perfect study plan for everyone. So, try different learning styles and prep techniques to discover what works for you. With commitment, self-control, and a positive attitude, you can feel ready for tests and get the desired outcomes. Don’t forget the basics—stay calm, believe in your abilities, and give it your best shot!