Hone In Your Study Skills

Hone In Your Study Skills

It might be tempting to try to cram all the answers to your quiz or exam in one night with no breaks

December 02, 2022

As you prepare for your mid-term exams, or quizzes and tests for the upcoming academic year, you might be wondering why you feel like you aren't learning as much as you 'should'. First, let's debunk the myth that studying more equals learning more; your brain is a muscle, and much like any other part of your body, it requires regular rest, sleep, and nourishment to function at the best possible capacity. Remember that having a stable routine that allows your mind and body to rest and relax is the key to performing well in life. Here are a few tips we've put together for the upcoming exam season, and we hope you make it through unscathed:

Create a comfortable study zone

While it may be tempting to add things that you like in your study space, be wary of keeping too many distractions close to you during your scheduled study time. You should definitely keep a few mentally stimulating things around you: consider a Rubik's Cube, a puzzle, or the local newspaper for a word game, but things like video games, books, and other forms of entertainment are best suited in a separate space. 

Essentially, anything that distracts you for a long period of time, and diverts your attention, is not what you need to keep around you. Mental stimulation accompanied with regular stretching or pacing around the room can help you stay alert and awake, while allowing your brain to take a few minutes to recharge and refresh itself so that you return to your books with renewed vigour. 

Set timers, schedule breaks 

It might be tempting to try to cram all the answers to your quiz or exam in one night with no breaks, but take it from experts and students alike, this is not the best idea. Instead, try to create a study schedule that is reasonable and one that you can stick to earnestly. There are a few techniques that can help you set aside time to study well before the exam season rolls around -- try checking out the Pomodoro Technique or Mind-Mapping or the SQ3R (survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review) methods of allotting time to study to avoid last minute stress and nervousness about your exams. 

Once you've created your schedule (about a month in advance), try to stick to the timetable, and realistically add breaks to it, too! Prevent burn-out from the get-go by dividing your time in a manner that allows for play, rest, and recuperation during your scheduled study hours. Allow yourself to feel creative, fun, and relaxed before sending your mind and body into overdrive trying to fit in every little bit of information, leading to information overload. 

Find your work/study style

Does making notes help you study better or underlining/highlighting work more efficiently for you? Find what your study style is before you delve into exam season to prepare in the best possible manner to achieve the grades you're looking for. Perhaps try the Cornell Note-Taking method or give Colour Coding a shot (this is where you highlight chunks of the text in similar colours to denote a similar theme, important data, or anything else you find relevant to your field of study). 

Deciding what works best for you will not only get you to learn more efficiently, but it will also allow you to enjoy the process of studying much more than you would otherwise. Think of it like this: your brain likes neatness and organisation, and these little methods, tips, and tricks, can help you feel like it's a puzzle-solving game instead of a tedious chore that you must rush to finish. Happy studying!

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Hone In Your Study Skills