The Finals are now knocking on the door, but are you well prepared to undertake them? After an inquiry done among high school students at Dar Jana International School, we found out that about 71% of them usually procrastinate, panic, and are then left with a stack of lessons to be studied just before a day or two from the final exam. Most of them conceded that time mismanagement and material disorganization were the main obstacles during Mid-Term exams; and unless solved, they are expected to obstruct students’ preparations for the final exams. Having known that students are facing some difficulties preparing for the exams, The View has compiled ten useful tips suggested by t A students to help you study well and effectively.
1. Start with a Schedule
The first thing you would want to do is plan a schedule. The earlier you start planning it, the less pressure and materials you will have to face every day. Take the order of the exams under consideration, and favor subjects accordingly. While planning it, keep materials-to-be-studied per day related to avoid confusion. In addition, do not study a whole subject in one day but divide the material of a subject into two or three days to study nonchalantly. Once you are done designing it, abide by it and do not procrastinate or advance.
2. Set up a Study-Friendly Environment
Assign a proper quiet room for you to study in. If your bedroom is not shared with anyone, has a desk, and is properly lit, then it might be the perfect environment. Tranquility is very imperative for the mind to understand and analyze materials. When accompanied with proper lighting and spacious work surface, your mind will perceive information accurately and preserve them in your long-term memory. Additionally, keep your space tidy and neat; the less chaotic your environment is, the less portion of your attention is wasted on observing the entropy around you. According to Erin Doland’s article, researchers at Princeton University Neuroscience Institute made a research concerning the relation between environment and one’s ability to focus, and Erin concluded’ “When your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus. The clutter also limits your brain’s ability to process information.”
3. Don’t Get Too Comfy.
Studying on a bed or very comfortable furniture is indisputably prohibited. According to Redford University, “The human body gets trained to behave in certain ways based on the environment it is in. When in bed, the environment is telling your body that it is time to go to sleep, and you probably will.” When studying on a bed, the mind tends to relate studying with sleeping; thus, in future references, whenever you start studying, you will subconsciously feel sleepy or exhausted. Whenever we lay down on a comfy bed, we tend to whisper to ourselves “let me nap” or “Let me rest for 5 minutes” and end up sleeping for 2 hours. If you want to study effectively, study on a chair and a desk. Beds were made to be slept on, not to be studied at.
4. Lock Away All Distractions
Sometimes in our lives, we get distracted and lose track of time by an object while we are on a specific mission/assignment. Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops, or even desktop gadgets might distract you from your study. They start luring you by tempting intentions of “Let me check what’s new” or “Let me take a brief break and use it for a minute or two”, but they end up consuming all the time you dedicated for studying. To avoid such hitch, put away all devices and gadgets that might cause distraction; turn them off and lock them in a drawer until you completely accomplish your task.
5. Take Important Notes While Studying
You have a better chance of preserving the information when writing it down. While studying a lesson, keep a notepad and a pen next to you. Write down every main concept you cross over. There is no need to write every letter as is; instead, use shortcuts and symbols that you understand. After you finish studying, review the notes you have taken. This would help grasping and locking the information in your mind.
6. Understand rather than memorize
You can forget information that you memorized, but you can never forget information that you understood. Memorizing limits your mind to words written as they are. It is possible for a concept or two could be memorized and recalled later, but when you have to study more than twenty concepts, you will definitely lose track of them if you only memorized them. However, if you understand a concept, you can always recall it since you have the main recipe for it. Penn State University concurs with us by having a similar reflection under the title of Academic Success:
“Memorizing without understanding is not the best way to study, nor is it sufficient for success in college. When students understand the material that they are studying rather than just memorizing facts, they are more likely to remember the material. Students who study for understanding read and think critically, recognize the complexity of the content, and can demonstrate and explain how concepts are related to each other.”
7. Write Down Any Question in Your Mind.
When studying, we usually ask ourselves many questions concerning the lesson. This is a positive factor, and it symbolizes our attempt to analyze critically. However, asking questions is not enough; the questions must also be answered. Hence, whenever a question pops up in your mind, write it down immediately. After collecting your questions, present them to a tutor or a teacher and make sure to get an answer you will comprehend.
8. Use internet for further exercises
Though teachers say the exercises given in the book and worksheets are enough, further exercise found on the internet is very beneficial. Not only do they allow extra practice, but also ensure you understand the material by offering never-seen-before exercises related to the lesson. After finishing exercises in the book/worksheets, search online for your lesson’s name proceeded by the word “quiz/test.”
9. Have Breaks
Just as dedicating time for studying is important, dedicating time for breaks is as important. Over pressuring yourself will only urge you to hasten your study, causing defectiveness. To loosen up a little of the stress built, Allow yourself a 5 or 10 minute break after you complete a specific task. However, Do not get carried away by distracting objects or gadgets; instead, have a snack or a cold drink, relax a bit, and then resume.
10. Sleep Well
Thought it is not a part of studying, sleeping well is a very important step to preserve and conserve all the information you have gained into your long-term memory. According to a study conducted by Jessica Payne, a PhD. associate professor in the psychology department in University of Notre Dame, sleeping helps to emphasize the information by “telling the sleeping brain what to consolidate.” She Also states that “our study confirms that sleeping directly after learning something new is beneficial for memory. What’s novel about this study is that we tried to shine light on sleep’s influence on both types of declarative memory by studying semantically unrelated and related word pairs”
We hope that those tips will be helpful for you and help you score well in the final exams. Make sure to follow those tips accordingly and avoid procrastination. Best of Luck!