Studying need not be tough

Studying need not be tough

The moment of reckoning is here – the final exams are staring you in the face!  All those hours spent at coffee bistros and watching movies suddenly don’t look like such a good idea. You have managed to keep your head above the water but the exams are a different kettle of fish – multiple tests in multiple subjects at the same time scare you.

You are not alone; even the top students realize that studying for exams is a little different from studying for one test. You need to be really systematic and have a master plan to master the art of studying for the exams.  Everybody is different so experiment till you find out what works for you.

The first step in successful studying is to find a study spot. This spot should have limited distractions and be one where you do nothing else.  When you reach this spot, your brain automatically gets the “study hour” message and you are closer to your goal. So what do we mean by distractions?  Painful as this is going to be, anything that takes your mind away from hand qualifies and yes, sorry to say, that includes turning Wi-Fi off and putting your phone on silent mode and not even reading SMS. This may seem crazy and undoable but believe me, it works; you will stay focused.

When you start studying, review the main concepts right away in the subject you are studying. You can do this by reading through the headings in your text and scanning your notes.  This will tell you what you are going to be studying.

What are some other ways of reviewing concepts? You can restate everything in your own language. If you feel the subject is talking to you or like you it will be easier to understand and more importantly  to remember.

As an extension of the above idea you can actually speak out loud.  Many students say that when they can’t understand a concept they read out loud, pausing at the appropriate spaces and that it helps them ‘get it.’

In my exam taking days I would actually go to the extent of pretending I was explaining the concept to someone else. If you think talking in an empty room is embarrassing just wait for those high marks and it’ll be worthwhile! The other option is to do combined study with a friend taking the same subject. You can take turns explaining the concept to each other and before you know it both of you will be thorough in it. (Of course this is not such a great idea if you are in a library!)  If you are more a visual person than an oral person then you could read your notes a couple of times then rewrite them in different language.  Doing this helps reinforce the ideas in your mind.

And last but not the least, if you are trying to study for a subject which requires you to solve problems, don’t just read the theory; actually solve a few problems without consulting your notes. This will not only reinforce the theory in your mind but also help you to think of quick ways to solve different problems. These are just a few strategies which are proven to work. Work out your own strategies and then studying for exams won’t be tough!

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